The Monitor, Mar/Apr 2020

Green New Deal, meet the Alternative Federal Budget
March 2, 2020
4.58 MB

The idea of a Green New Deal—a radical and comprehensive transformation of the economy to cut greenhouse gas emissions while tackling inequality—has been gaining steam as an organizing principle for the environmental and social justice movements. Yet there are many questions that GND advocates have yet to think through or agree on. Like how can we produce enough electricity to rapidly replace all fossil fuels? Will new, green jobs be good, unionized jobs that are accessible in the places where jobs are needed most? Crucially, how will we pay for it all?

In our March/April 2020 cover feature, Stuart Trew and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood find a lot in common between the Green New Deal and the annual Alternative Federal Budget. Both have called for cracking down on tax havens, tax loopholes and fossil fuel subsidies to help fund a transformative social and environmental agenda, for example. Public banks, increased carbon taxation, green bonds and steeper deficit financing are other AFB mainstays that double as GND options for accelerating the just transition. Was the AFB a proto–Green New Deal in the making? Or, more proactively, can we make use of alternative budgeting to develop the detailed fiscal plan that will make the GND a reality in Canada?

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Cover design by Tim Scarth.