Another step in the right direction?

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From: "Noel Ortega, Institute for Policy Studies" <>
Date: Apr 4, 2013 4:45 PM
Subject: Another step in the right direction?
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New Economy News: IPS Newsletter
April 4, 2013 

Another step in the right direction?

Dear Friend,

Noel Ortega

It's not every week large multi-lateral organizations take two steps in the right direction.

Two weeks ago I told you about the U.N.'s declaration of the first International Happiness Day, and this week it seems that after decades of civil engagement, a super-storm, and economic collapse, multi-lateral organizations are finally starting to take climate change seriously. But is it only more hot air? And is it too late?

In this week's newsletter I want to draw your attention to two underreported yet very important climate/economic statements.

The first was written by Joe Uehein, Executive Director of the Labor Network for Sustainability, and Gus Speth, a New Economy Working Group member, and signed by 27 labor and environmental leaders, including IPS Director John Cavanagh. The statement calls on labor and environmental groups to "move beyond their differences to a common vision for the future" – towards a new economy. Let's hope others in the labor and environmental movements take this call for unity and action seriously.

The second statement I want to draw your attention to calls on World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to end World Bank support for all fossil fuel projects. Like the Uehlein-Speth statement, this one also acknowledges the need to address the economic needs of the poor, who often lack access to affordable energy. It was signed by over 55 organizations representing 20 different countries.

Kim, who assumed leadership of the Bank only last year, has raised hopes by calling climate change a "fundamental threat" to global economic development. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank are also reportedly considering calling on governments to stop fossil fuel subsidies.

These seem to be encouraging developments. But is it too late to address the structural problems that create climate change? If not, what then must we do?

New Economy Working Group member Gar Alperovitz has some ideas on what we can do to bring about structural change. See his video below.


Noel Ortega
New Economy Coordinator

Labor and Enviro Leaders Move Beyond Their Differences to a Common Vision for the Future


By Joe Uehlein, Gus Speth

We recognize the need to strengthen the solidarity between our movements to be successful.

During our many decades of work in the labor and environmental movements, there have been many battles that led to tensions between our communities. The Keystone Pipeline is only the most recent example. To help overcome these challenges, we recently convened two dozen leaders of labor, environmental, and other organizations for a frank conversation about the difficult times faced by ordinary workers and the dire environmental prospects we all face. We were motivated by a deep conviction that our communities could unite behind a common vision of a new economy that is good for working families and for the planet. We know that a top priority of most people is decent, dignified jobs that advance a truly sustainable economy.

read more

Check out the trailer of The Next American Revolution

Gar Alperovitz

In this film Gar Alperovitz examines the key problems plaguing American society. He "then discuss tactics for political change, and offer a strategy to transform the system by building upon efforts already under way in thousands of communities across the U.S., from co-ops and community land trusts to municipal, state, and federal initiatives." It is a must see film.

watch video

Civil Society and Entrepreneurs Call on World Bank to Clean Up Energy Lending

World Bank

Over 55 development, faith, human rights, community, and environmental groups from more than 20 countries teamed up today to ask World Bank President Jim Kim to end Bank support for all fossil fuel projects unless the projects are solely focused on directly increasing energy access for the poor.

read more

A Plateful of Justice


The people who wash your dishes and the folks who cook and serve your food deserve better. By Javier Rojo

read more

The Military-Industrial Threat to the Nation's Well-Being

Fighter Jet

It's time for some serious spring cleaning at the Pentagon. By William A. Collins and Emily Schwartz Greco

read more


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