Los Angeles: a public bank with a mandate to serve the people?

Posted Posted in Banks, City council, Employment, Energy, Environment, Finance, Local economies, Low carbon, Manufacturing, Renewable energy, Tax, Transition

Voters in Los Angeles will be the first in the United States to choose whether to set up their city’s own public bank to serve the people instead of private interests. LA’s charter currently prohibits the creation of industrial or commercial enterprises by the city without voter approval. The City Council voted on June 29th to put a measure on […]

New impetus for community energy

Posted Posted in City council, Council, Economy, Energy, Environment, Finance, Renewable energy, Transition

The Financial Times reports that the falling cost of renewables, advances in battery storage and the prospect of selling electricity locally are giving new impetus to community energy projects. Community energy projects, set up to generate renewable energy, are reinvesting the proceeds from the sale of electricity into the locality. Sylvia Pfeifer describes them as part of a wider trend […]

Rebuild the local economy: prioritise labour-intensive sectors, difficult to automate, impossible to relocate abroad

Posted Posted in Devolution, Economics, Economy, Employment, Finance, Green New Deal, Local economies, Low carbon, Manufacturing, Renewable energy, Transition

Colin Hines, co-founder of LWM and convenor of the UK Green New Deal Group, comments on the Guardian’s recent editorial on productivity and robots which ‘repeated the cliché that automation does cost jobs, but more are created’. He says that the problem with this is that the new jobs are frequently in different places from where they are lost and […]

Complexity or resilience?

Posted Posted in Banks, Economics, Energy, Finance, Globalisation, Local economies, Microfinance, Renewable energy

In the Times, Ed Conway (right), economics editor of Sky News, describes problems arising from the complexity of ‘the hallmark of 21st-century life’ and the International Alliance for Localization records examples of new modes of development and progress. Conway writes about the vast supply chains, financial instruments and legal structures ‘sitting beneath every industry’: Where once a company made its […]

Economic Prospects for 2017: Andrew Simms – New Economics Foundation

Posted Posted in Bank of England, Banks, Books and articles, Economics, Finance, Renewable energy

              As John Nightingale who sent the link says, this ‘reads well’:  Each year the Financial Times conducts a survey of leading economists on the UK’s upcoming prospects. The New Weather Institute is part of that survey and predicts a bumpy ride. A lot of the FT material sits behind a paywall, so for interest here are the answers we […]

Is a quiet political revolution getting under way?

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Economy, Energy, Finance, Globalisation, Government, Local economies, Localisation, Localism, Low carbon, Microfinance, Planning, Politics, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Transition

As the old order with its class and gender hierarchies gave way, George Monbiot points out that the void filled with junk could have been occupied by a better society, built on mutual support and connectedness, without the stifling stratification of the old order. ‘The feast to which we were invited is only for the few’ Instead, as the developed […]

Community energy solutions: Plymouth

Posted Posted in City council, Democracy, Devolution, Economy, Education, Employment, Energy, Environment, Finance, Local economies, Local government, Localisation, Low carbon, Microfinance, Planning, Politics, Poverty, Renewable energy, Transition

In 2012 Plymouth’s co-operative city council established a Low Carbon City Team, which helped to identify the city’s potential for community energy solutions and forge partnerships. The council funded pre-development, initial community engagement and business plan development. In 2013 it joined forces with local residents to form Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) which then set up a second Industrial & Provident […]

Community energy: co-operative, citizen-centred, decentralised

Posted Posted in Co-operatives, Democracy, Devolution, Employee ownership, Employment, Energy, Environment, Finance, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Mutuals, Planning, Renewable energy, Social Enterprise, Transition

. Although a couple of weeks ago the government agreed to ban all fracking in protected areas, they are now reported as saying this may ‘unduly constrain the industry’ and fracking will be allowed to take place under National Parks and other protected areas if the wells start outside their boundaries. The passing of the government’s bill was welcomed by […]

Human-scale, decentralised technologies

Posted Posted in Books and articles, Economics, Economy, Energy, Environment, Globalisation, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Planning, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Sustainability, Transition

In Lean Logic, the late David Fleming recalls that in in 1995, the Times Literary Supplement placed a book by E.F. Schumacher, the chief economic advisor to the UK Coal Board for two post war decades, among the 100 most influential books published since World War II. Small Is Beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered has been […]

Globalisation – the open trading system – is fragmenting

Posted Posted in Economics, Economy, Employment, Environment, Export-led growth, Finance, Globalisation, Green Deal, Green New Deal, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Planning, Politics, Poverty, Procurement, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Sustainability, Trade, Transition

Philip Stephens, an associate editor, in the Financial Times: “Globalisation – the open trading system – is fragmenting; it needs an enforcer – a hegemon, a concert of powers or global governance arrangements”. Evidence: the collapse of the Doha, the demise of global free-trade agreements, and the emergence of regional coalitions and deals. The emerging economies are building south-south relationships […]