By Ann Pettifor
- The Production of Money; How to Break the Power of Bankers (2017)
- The Case for the Green New Deal (2019)
What is the Green New Deal and how can we afford it?
To protect the future of life on earth, we need to do more than just reimagine the economy—we have to change everything. One of the seminal thinkers of the program that helped ignite the US Green New Deal campaign, Ann Pettifor explains how we can afford what we can do, and what we need to do, before it is too late.
The Case for the Green New Deal argues that economic change is wholly possible, based on the understanding that finance, the economy and the ecosystem are all tightly bound together. The GND demands total decarbonization and a commitment to an economy based on fairness and social justice. It proposes a radical new understanding of the international monetary system. Pettifor offers a roadmap for financial reform both nationally and globally, taking the economy back from the 1%. This is a radical, urgent manifesto that we must act on now.
Zoe Williams on The Guardian wrote:
"Economist Ann Pettifor is one of several leading thinkers publishing books on the Green New Deal (GND) this year. However unlike her contemporary authors, including Naomi Klein and Jeremy Rifkin, Pettifor can lay serious claim to being one of the original Green New Dealers to push the idea back in 2007, and one of only a handful of economists to predict the 2008 financial crash. [...] Crucially, Pettifor debunks the argument that a lack of money is a barrier to winning the war on carbon, as the GND would be self-financing, with increased investment feeding back into higher private sector spending and savings and Government taxation."
Jonathan Ford on FInancial Times wrote:
"Pettifor delivers a sober, technical but readable account of the framework, as she – among a handful of economists and/or environmentalists, including Richard Murphy (the main architect of Corbyn’s 2015 programme), Larry Elliott (the Guardian’s economics editor) and Jeremy Leggett (solar entrepreneur) - laid it out more than a decade ago. [...] While she directs the occasional weary sideswipe at the climate-change denier, her true enemy is defeatism, and she is very convincing on this: whether or not the planet can be saved, there is no alternative but to try. [...] Money is not a finite natural resource, handed us by the mountains or the seas: it is a social construct based on trust and cooperation, created through credit, which is itself backed by the toil of today’s citizens, and the citizens of the future (an idea explored in her last, very readable book, The Production of Money). [...] Pettifor has a rare approach, both radical and intricate, and is never more enthusiastic than when she is spelling out the potentially transformative effects of a global transaction tax, or capital controls, or the management of interest rates by public authority, or an alternative to the dollar standard. She can persuade the reader to abandon growth as a goal in the blink of a page, and adopt instead the idea of an economic 'Plimsoll line' (what’s the most a vessel can carry before compromising its seaworthiness?). The book’s purpose, though, is more than a manifesto for the climate, while stopping short of fully costed fixes it sets out to show which elements of the world as it is are incompatible with meaningful change, and how manageably (if not necessarily easily) they could be overturned. [...] Pettifor works extremely hard to describe the mechanisms by which capitalism and corporatism created the climate crisis and, more recently, the degradation of democratic politics."
"The enemy is globalised markets, with their propensity to fly from jurisdictions that seek to mobilise trillions of capital to pay for climate transition. We need to 'get real' and recognise bankers will never 'finance a massive climate stabilisation project on terms that are acceptable and sustainable', she writes.
To achieve the 'steady state' economy that would have to repay all that debt out of future tax revenues, Pettifor argues for constraints on moving capital. There are few tears shed for the citizen’s liberty to move around their money."
- Interview with Pettifor about the book, Chatham House, October 2019
- "The Future Is Ours for the Taking" - interview with Pettifor about the book in New York Magazine, September 2019
- Green New Deal articles/links on the personal website of Ann Pettifor
Table of Contents of The Green New Deal
- Introduction: What Is the Green New Deal?
- System Change, Not Climate Change
- Winning the Struggle with Finance
- Global System Change
- The Green New Deal Economy
- A Steady State Economy
- The Green New Deal: Transforming Our World
About Ann Pettifor
Ann Pettifor is the Director of Prime (Policy Research in Macroeconomics), an Honorary Research Fellow at City University, and a Fellow of the New Economics Foundation. She has an honorary doctorate from Newcastle University. She is known for her leadership of the Jubilee 2000 campaign, which resulted in massive debt cancellation for more than thirty countries. She has served on the board of the UN Development Report and in 2015 was invited onto the economic advisory board of the British Labour Party by Jeremy Corbyn.