Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
14 May 2020updated 11 Sep 2021 4:57pm

Caroline Lucas: “Covid-19 should act as a climate wake-up call“

By New Statesman

The Green Party MP for Brighton and Hove, Caroline Lucas, has written an article for the New Statesman, in which she calls for the UK to seize the “opportunity to create something different and better, a society which is fairer, greener and more resilient to the other even graver crises we face, the climate emergency and biodiversity loss… Our response to the coronavirus crisis could and must change everything.”

Much of the commentary on the coronavirus crisis has focused on the potential scenarios for a radically different post-Covid world. One such scenario is based around a radically different economic order based on larger, more interventionist states and vastly expanded public realms. However, there is also a likelihood that the recent unprecedented levels of Covid-related Treasury borrowing for bailouts and the furlough scheme will be repayed through another decade of austerity. Last week, some of the UK’s top economists, including Mariana Mazzucato, David Blanchflower, Ann Pettifor and Robert Skidelsky warned in the New Statesman that the government should not repeat the fiscal consolidation strategies of the Conservative and coalition governments since 2010, and instead made the case for a Keynesian stimulus.

Paul Mason has written on his support for radical measures such as monetisation of government debt to pay for increased public spending. But advocacy for such heterodox policies has also come from unlikely places, including the Financial Times, which has also called for the government to take equity stakes in companies it is bailing out – effectively wholesale nationalisation.

“Things we have long been told were impossible or unrealistic are, in fact, possible,” Lucas writes. “There is after all a ‘magic money tree’ when it is needed. The government can find the money to house homeless people, put resources into our healthcare system, provide an income to millions who cannot work and write off billions of pounds in public debt overnight.”

Last year’s Green Party manifesto called for a Universal Basic Income, a policy also supported by some on the Labour benches.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Why competition is the key to customer satisfaction
High streets remain vitally important to local communities
The future of gas