Anticipating systemic crises is difficult. Using the policy response to foster transformation is likely to be even more difficult. Yet, responses to two systemic crises in the last fifteen years have mobilized unthinkable resources, both financial and political. This report by E3G and Finanzwende / Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, part of the Transformative Responsive series, revisits what we have learned from the past and present crises and how this can foster socially and ecologically transformative policies.
How can we ensure that we can address our current social and ecological challenges, while increasing the resilience of our economic systems? We need to transition away from fossil fuels to a low carbon economy, while at the same time paying fair wages that decrease overall inequality and assure a good life within planetary boundaries. If we want this transformation to succeed, we will have to accept that systemic crises have become a common phenomenon and plan the transformation accordingly.
Reactive politics to recent crises – the 2007-2008 global financial crisis and the impact of COVID-19 – are a problem for social and ecological transformation. The opposite of reactive policies is planning and investment in the present, for a better future. Tackling climate change and inequality requires a complete overhaul of our current economy, and planning and forward-looking investment now – not a return to the past. This report explores how the joint sense of crisis can foster transformative policies and previously unthinkable political change.