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Climate crisis offers way out of monetary orthodoxy

On July 8th the European Central Bank announced the results of the Monetary Policy Strategy Review initiated by its president, Christine Lagarde, in January 2020. Delayed by the pandemic, its deliberations had been kept tight. But, with striking haste, Lagarde shepherded the ECB’s General Council into unanimous agreement on a terse statement about the bank’s policy regime. The review’s conclusions are technical but have wide implications. The ECB is Europe’s most powerful federal institution. At moments of financial stress it holds Europe’s fate in its hands. In normal times, interest rates are a key parameter for decision-making of all kinds. The results of the review, modest though they may seem, are highly revealing not just about the ECB but the broader politics of eurozone. It is 18 years since the bank last conducted a strategic review and there has been plenty in the interim to digest. What is more

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Foreign Policy Logo 'FP'

Can Elites Start the Climate Revolution?

Financial capital and the courts are quietly creating the conditions to stop global warming—if politics does its part, too. Will the spring of 2021 prove to be a pivotal moment in the climate crisis? Last week, the management of both Exxon Mobil and Chevron lost battles with green activist shareholders. A third oil major, Shell, was ordered by a Dutch court to dramatically step up its climate effort. This followed a damning judgment in April by the German supreme court on Berlin’s plan for decarbonization. The International Energy Agency (IEA), formerly a bastion of the fossil fuel industry, laid out a demanding path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. And to cap it all off, Ford launched its F-150 electric truck. It is hard to exaggerate the symbolic significance of these events. The F-150 is the most widely used vehicle in the United States. Eight percent

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Centre for European Reform

Learning to Live with Debt

At the time of writing, the pandemic is continuing to take a heavy toll on the European economy, and even though an economic collapse has been prevented, Europe’s growth prospects are far from encouraging. Policy-makers across Europe have supported firms, workers and families through furlough schemes, income support and loans – often with remarkable pragmatism – and are continuing to provide new forms of aid. The European recovery fund offers

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Social Europe Logo

The debt hawks are flapping their wings

The question of public debt hangs over Europe’s future. Brussels prefers to talk about other things—the Green Deal or social Europe. The European public is more urgently interested in vaccines, lockdowns and immigration. But nothing is closer to the heart of power in the European Union than public debt. To even mention it brings back painful memories of the eurozone crisis. After the shock of 2020, the debts are even

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The Hill

Green mortgages: Homes need to catch up to climate change

When we think of tackling the problem of climate change we might think of smoke-belching power plants, or gas-guzzling trucks, or the guilty pleasure of a last-minute flight to Cancun.   But a huge part of the climate problem is generated by us, simply living our daily lives, at home or at work. Twenty percent of total emissions in the U.S. originate in energy consumption in the home. No doubt, we could do

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Archive

New Statesman
America’s race to net zero

Does Joe Biden’s climate plan go far enough? On 22-23 April the Biden administration is hosting a global climate summit to mark Earth Day, named after the largest ever environmental demonstration, staged in the United

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The Gatekeeper

Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman. Norton, 444 pp., £13.99, February, 978 0 393 54132 8 Paul​ Krugman’s latest collection of essays, Arguing with Zombies, first appeared in January 2020. Not only

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Zeit Online
The Limits of Victory

Joe Biden may have won the election, but the U.S. is still divided and the Republicans are ready to block his every move, even as the country faces grave crises. On Sat., Nov. 7, 2020,

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