Relevant Reports – key background reading

A variety of recent reports and resources relevant to the themes of transition, green deals and de-carbonisation is emerging from national and international organisations.

Here is a selection.

These developments do indicate that we are on the right track, although some of the proposals do not in our view go far enough.

Green Jobs: Towards decent work in a sustainable, low-carbon world. United Nations Environment Programme.

Sustainable Cities: Preparing Towns and Cities for a Changing Climate. Comprehensive website with lots of resources produced by the organisation CABE in association with the UK’s core cities (which of course includes Manchester).

Creating Green Jobs: Developing local low-carbon economies. From Local government Association. Makes a call to central government to grant councils the powers that they will will need to rise to the challenge.

A Green and Fair Future, for a Just Transition to a Low Carbon Economy. Trade Union Congress report – important for spelling out the meaning of the ‘just transition’ concept.

Unlocking Green Enterprise: A Low Carbon Strategy for the UK Economy Trade Union Congress report – emphasises the role of the State over the (failed) market.

Post Carbon Cities Guidebook (Well worth buying from Eco-logic Books in th UK) or you can download an abridged version. From The Post Carbon Institute in California.

Zero Carbon Britain. An alternative energy strategy from Centre for Alternative Technology. Comprehensive although has a bias to market based approaches.

An outline of the case for a ‘green’ stimulus from LSE research group that includes Nicolas Stern. “Governments need to include spending on ‘green’ measures in their packages for tackling the global economic crisis in order to address the growing threat of climate change.”

‘Mini-Stern’ for Manchester. Assessing the economic impact of EU and UK climate change legislation on Manchester City Region and the North-West produced by Deloitte’s for Manchester Enterprises – it formed the background for the ‘call to real action’ from Manchester City Council. Tends ot focus on the impact of climate change legislation and is therefore not concerned with fundamentally changing the overall model, but full of useful data and analysis. Alternative link.

The crash – a view from the left. Free ebook to download. Edited by Jon Cruddas and Jonathan Rutherford. “The Crash offers an alternative to the compromised policies of the G20. Contributors analyse and explain the economic and social issues that lie at the heart of our crisis.” A bit of a mixed bag but some useful analyses here.

Consultation out now. Useful data in the background papers. Does at least try to address sustainability, climate etc. Even mentions food security but still fixated on the economic growth model.

Prosperity Without Growth: The transition to a Sustainable Economy. Tim Jackson Sustainable Development Commission (set up by the government, but Gordon doesn’t seem to know about it).
Declaration of The existing homes alliance “We must take urgent action to transform our existing housing and make it fit for the 21st Century“
Future Scenarios: Mapping the cultural implications of peak oil and climate change. forthcoming book by Permaculture joint founder David Holmgren. Looks at the combination of peak oil and climate crisis with useful and bioregional analyses. Web version. Full text.
Well argued and researched article that updates Kenneth Mellanby’s work from the 1970s. The answer is yes under a number of scenarios including a permaculture informed ones.  Fairlie adds in considerations of timber and textile production too, which makes sense in the context of a low energy economy.   He doesn’t include urban land which on the basis of 39-45 wartime or recent Cuban experience would also add a valuable and low carbon addition, especially for fruit and vegetables.
In this context the SDC report on Food Security and Sustainability is also relevant:   Seven point plan to create sustainable food system.
Research for FOE on three local authority energy mixes.  Concludes that 40% CO2 carbon emissions by 2020 is feasible in each case although the strategy needs to be appropriate to local conditions.  The full research report is at and FOE’s ‘get serious‘ report which is the related policy paper is also worth a look.
Excellent brief report from the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movments.  Demonstrates the potential for greatly improved carbon sequestration in soils by the use of enhanced organic methods.  Other goodies on thier site at
Low-Carbon Energy: A Roadmap from the Worldwatch Institute (USA) useful review to read in conjunction with Zero Carbon Britain.  Similar conclusions but with an international focus.
Degrowth abstracts book – from the 2010 Degrowth conference held in Barcelona (variously in English, Spanish and Catalan) – some interesting and useful stuff in here.   Also see the links to degrowth on the lists to the right of your screen.
From the the co-operative party, 2009.  The Co-op party pretends to be an independent political party but is actually highly integrated with Labour.   Nevertheless, this pamphlet, with an introduction by Ed Milliband, is very good.

Enough Is Enough

  • Do you suspect that the idea of perpetual economic growth on a finite planet is folly?
  • Are you searching for ways to solve our profound social and environmental problems?
  • Do you want to know how we can construct an economy that (1) meets our needs without undermining the life-support systems of the planet and (2) achieves sustainable and equitable well-being for all people?

This new report from the Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy provides a lot of ideas as to what such an economy would look like and how to get there.  Needs further work but it is a very helpful compilation, and British too.


2 responses to “Relevant Reports – key background reading

  1. Brilliant comprehensive list.

    Thanks for your hard work


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