“Right now, if governments got rid of their feelings about spending money, and made investments, and we mobilised societies in the way we need, we would be able to arrest that environmental crisis. But there will be a moment when our agency is overtaken by that extra momentum and it will come from tipping points, non-linear changes in the environment.It will create self-fulfilling processes of change.
“We are not there yet, and that's the primary reason why we need an emergency response globally – it's to protect and then deepen our agency over the environmental crisis before an unstoppable momentum of environmental change begins.”
Laurie Laybourn is a policy researcher and author. He leads Cohort 2040, which explores how to deepen rapid action toward a more sustainable and equitable world even as the effects of the environmental crisis get far worse. Laurie is a visiting fellow at Chatham House and at the Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter, as well as an associate fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). He is a regular commentator on TV and radio and co-author of Planet on Fire (Verso 2021).
We discuss the opportunity in crisis moments throughout history, with Laurie revealing the best policies for navigating the climate crisis, nationally and internationally, as well as those for a sustainable future. He also explains how the our current fiscal ideologies, including our relationship to debt, impedes necessary climate action around the world whilst hobbling the global south’s capacity to respond to increasing catastrophes. Laurie says the climate crisis is a fiscal problem—could reimagining fiscal policies keep 1.5 alive?
Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it.