Over 2 days around 60 experts, including European civil society representatives and researchers from different fields relevant for transition, NGOs, think tanks and institutions came together to discuss the way forward for progressive policymaking.
In light of the new geopolitical context, we believe that at this crucial juncture, it is necessary to re-think the Green Deal as a transformative agenda. At this conference, we used time for orientation and self-location in this new world. We then explored the interdependencies between the different domains of policymaking (fiscal, monetary and regulatory) and between environmental and social agendas together with experts from different fields of research and civil society (climate, inequality, finance). In different workshops and plenary sessions, we discussed current challenges and developed policy packages addressing the issues of financial stability, ecological transformation and inequality at the same time. Read our conference reader and the Dossier “Making the great turnaround work – Economic policy for a green and just transition” to find out more about the background of the conference topic.
Re-watch the conference
The conference was opened by a short welcome by Gerhard Schick, in which he introduced the project “Transformative Respones to the crisis” and the work that lead to this conference.
Michael Jacobs continued with his keynote where he described the new geopolitical context due to the war in Ukraine and the interrelated challenges, but also chances, for Europe’s Green Deal. Watch the video here.
In the second keynote, Daniela Gabor introduced us to her and Benjamin Braun’s concept of the macrofinancial regimes and what critical macrofinance tells us about the low-carbon transition, to be found here.
On both conference days, a high-level panel provided further food for thought. In the first, Sven Giegold discussed with Adam Tooze and Samantha Smith ‘The Green Deal after the Zeitenwende’ and how to accelerate the socio-economic transformation of Europe’s economy.
The second panel dealt with the roles for public and private capital in financing the transformation featuring Kristina Jeromin and Daniela Gabor.
Results of the conference
The main work during the conference happened in four workshops sessions. During these sessions the participants were split into three workshop groups (climate, inequality and financial system).
The workshops were designed to allow highly interactive, result driven and in-depth discussions. Using co-creative methods developed by the ZOE Institute for Future-Fit Economies this led to a mix of insightful exchanges, debate and elaboration of common perspectives.
One session served as an open space in which participants were able to meet in small groups to discuss topics of their interest related to the transformation.
In the last session, the workshop groups mixed to discuss potential impacts, trade-offs and synergies of policy ideas. In a final plenary, participants presented the results in the form of 13 policy packages including the goals, potential positive impacts and ideas to mitigate negative impacts. After this, the participants could assign themselves to policy packages to which they would like to contribute after the conference.
The creation of a “dirty” taxonomy aims to penalise and discipline private finance that invests in unsustainable investments.
The transition away from fossil fuels policy package included the taxation of financial transactions linked to harmful assets, one for one capital requirements for banks that practice fossil lending and increased haircuts for central bank collateral to fossil fuel assets.
Credit guidance policies are needed to align private finance with the goals of the transition. A quantity-based credit guidance includes targets for green credit volumes for transition sectors at a EU/national level. It can contribute to a just transition if it includes explicit regional goals or price-based mechanisms.
The universal provision of life’s necessities proposal focuused on e.g. public provision of services and co-creation for democratic processes to put people at the center of the transition.
Another package emphasized the importance of a participatory process for the transition and put together a mix of policy modules to create acceptance while accelerating the green transition and getting rid of inequality.
The proposal Procuring the future has the aim to strengthen sustainability in the public procurement on European, national and local level. Through linking this to public green bonds and green monetary policy this will contribute to the goal of greening public expenditure.
The state-led green transition package is includes strategies to achieve more state involvement in the economic organization and production. One example from this is that the state should become more involved in industrial policy, e.g. by linking industrial and labor market policy more closely.
The policy package EU wide wealth tax with green exemptions was designed to tackle inequality while diverting finance to green assets. This would help to overcome the concentration of power and the constraints of orthdox fiscal policy.
The European Energy collective (EEC) is a policy package that aims to achieve energy independence faster with a realistic approach by setting up a new vehicle to manage collection action.
The participants connected to continue their work on these policy packages, explore concrete next steps or strengthen existing initiatives. The challenge of a just and fast green transition remains massive, but with the conference we have laid a good foundation to leverage our efforts in the future.
More impressions from the conference below
The conference was organized by:
The project consists of four main modules, which will be covered from 2020 until 2022. After starting off with analyses of three scenarios for progressive policy change, our current work is focussed on the role of central banks, the disconnect of finance and the real economy as well as the role of economic growth for the transformation.
Module: Scenario Analysis
Will future crises be induced by financial or climate-related events and how likely are they? We analyse potential causes of future crises.
Module: Central Banking
Central banks are the first line of defence during crises. What should be their role in the transformation and what could reform look like?
Our systems’ short-term focus on financial returns is responsible for our vulnerability to crises. We want to find ways on how to reign in the financial sector.
Module: Growth & Transformation
What are the challenges of continuous low growth and interest rates for the social-ecological transformation?