A sustainable social, political and environmental response to the “twin crises” of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change will require policymaking beyond capitalism. Only by achieving a post-growth response to these crises can we meaningfully shape a future of jobs in renewable-powered industries shaped by organised labour, democratic values and public institutions. Anything less will merely create more markets and more technocratic fixes that reinforce the growing social and environmental inequalities that our current political system cannot overcome.
As Australia moves further away from anything resembling a sustainable pathway to reach these goals (i.e., $90bn submarines that we will not see for at least 20 years but no meaningful action on climate change), a new Labour and Industry article – co-authored by Laurie Carmichael Distinguished Research Fellow Mark Dean and Centre for Future Work Associate, Professor Al Rainnie analyses four alternative responses proposed by Australian unions, climate change groups and grassroots community organisations.
The purpose of this article has been to identify the range of options that government is capable of pursuing and which, with sensible political choices, can adopt as strategy today. Absent the current federal government’s political will to make long-term choices, Australia is yet to settle on a coordinated policy response that plans and directs the sustainable development of our economy.
Urgent action is needed to shape policymaking with a strategic, long-term vision that restores the active, interventionist role of government in building an economy capable of overcoming crisis.