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Time for another look at where Green New Deal ideas are turning up in the news.

After UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon echoed UNEP’s call for a Green New Deal, several prominent politicians, including Gordon Brown and US presidential hopeful Barack Obama, have taken an interest. Some of the commentary is still fixated on the need for economic growth – which most ecological economists would argue is unsustainable – but at least it signals a shift away from the market-based solutions of recent decades. Newsweek reports:

Heather Zichal, Obama’s policy director for energy, environment and agriculture, says the candidate believes that given the economic climate these are investments the United States must make, and that government has to play a role. His “point is that you can’t just hope that the free market is going to fix these problems,” she says.

The Guardian continues its excellent coverage of Green New Deal thinking. Terry Macalister reports on the UN programme and its relation to nef‘s work, a Leader from Saturday mentions GND as a solution to Labour’s recession and today Ashley Seager explains why the economic downturn is the perfect time to save the planet.

Finally, John Gribbins of The Irish Times compares our situation to that of the 18th century inhabitants of Easter Island, who were so obsessed with building bigger and bigger idols of their gods that they overlooked the damage which their growth-imperative was doing to the ecosystem. Every single tree was chopped down to construct rollers for stone carvings. A Green New Deal, says Gribbins, might be our last chance to avoid a colossal repetition of the islanders’ fate.


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nef employees blog in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the new economics foundation.