Politics, they say, is the art of the possible. But the possible is not fixed. What we believe is possible depends on our knowledge and beliefs about the world. Ideas can change the world, and Green House is about challenging the ideas that have created the world we live in now, and offering positive alternatives.
The problems we face are systemic, and so the changes we need to make are complex and interconnected. Many of the critical analyses and policy prescriptions that will be part of the new paradigm are already out there. Our aim is to communicate them more clearly, and more widely.
Report launch and debate, Europe House, London, 14 February
On 14 February Jean Lambert MEP hosted the launch of the latest Green House Report "Greening the EU" by Professor Alex Warleigh-Lack. The event was jointly organised by Green House and the Green European Foundation, and there was a showing of GEF's "Creating a People's Europe" video
In the lead up to the event we asked two questions. Is the EU just for capitalists? Can it really help in the transition to a sustainable way of life? We suggested that Alex Warleigh-Lack would answer no to the first and yes to the second.
On the first point Alex freely acknowledged corporate control and influence over the EU. But Alex made three points. First the sheer size of the EU makes it potentially the only political unit that can challenge the power of big business. Second, we should not forget, as many in the UK do, the importance of the non-economic founding purposes of the EU in bringing peace to Europe and acting as a guarantor of democracy and civil liberties. Third, while it is easy to be pessimistic about the EU there are smaller pragmatic things worth pressing, such as greater powers for the Parliament,
On the transition to a sustainable way of life, Alex argued that while the EU was far from perfect, it was both in the lead internationally on most environmental matters, notably greenhouse gas emissions, and was ahead of most of its member states, including currently, the UK. Moreover there is scope, through Article 11 of the Treaty founding the European Union to put the environment at the heart of all EU policy. Two huge policy areas, trade and agriculture, are exclusively within EU competence and states can do little on their own. Yet trade can be used to impose ecological standards both within but also beyond the EU, and the Common Agricultural Policy could be used to create a more self-sufficient and ecologically sound agriculture.
You can download Alex's report Greening the EU (pdf, 710 K) here.
The post-growth project
We are delighted to announce the next event in this project:
'Politics after the End of Growth'
House of Commons, London, 30 April, 6.30-8.30 pm
Green House will hold a report launch and debate as part of the 'People's Parliament' series in the House of Commons on 30 April. The event will be chaired by Michael Meacher, MP, and will feature a presentation by Prof. Andrew Dobson of his Green House paper 'Politics after the end of growth' (part of the Green House 'Post-Growth Project'). The discussion with the audience will then be kicked off by comments from Molly Scott Cato of Green House and Caroline Lucas, MP. More details are available here, where you can also register.
You can download copies of our most recent reports on the Recent Publications page or find out who is involved on the Green House People page. Please also see who is supporting us on the page about our Advisory Group or check out our influences at Find Out More.
|This we believe|
|Green House people|
|post growth project|
|find out more|
Have a look at the website whygreeneconomy.org launched in May 2013 as a space to discuss how to tackle the world's interconnected economic and environmental crises. There are over 70 summaries of research, comment articles and videos which can be searched by subject areas such as green growth, natural capital and renewable energy.
You can access the Green European Journal here.