A Dutch manifesto for the After Coronavirus era

Posted on

Andrew Dickie drew my attention to this Dutch manifesto for the After Coronavirus era:

This concise manifesto, signed by 170 academics working in the Netherlands who deal with international development issues, presents, based on existing research and knowledge, five proposals for the Netherlands after Corona:

1) Replacement of the current development model aimed at generic GDP growth, by a model that distinguishes between sectors that are allowed to grow and need investment (the so-called critical public sectors, clean energy, education and care) and sectors that need to shrink radically given their fundamental lack of sustainability or their role in driving excessive consumption (such as the oil, gas, mining, and advertising sectors).

2) Development of an economic policy aimed at redistribution, which provides a universal basic income, embedded in solid social policy; a substantial progressive tax on income, profit and wealth; shorter working weeks and job sharing; and recognition of the intrinsic value of healthcare and essential public services such as education and healthcare.

3) Transition to circular agriculture, based on the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable, mostly local food production, reduction of meat production and employment with fair working conditions.

4) Reduction of consumption and travel, with a radical decrease in luxurious and wasteful forms, towards necessary, sustainable and meaningful forms of consumption and travel.

5) Debt cancellation, mainly to employees, self-employed persons and entrepreneurs in SMEs, but also to developing countries (to be carried out by both the richer countries and international organizations such as IMF and World Bank).

As scientists and committed citizens, we are convinced that these steps will contribute to more sustainable and equal societies; societies that are more resistant to the shocks and pandemics that lie ahead. As far as we are concerned, the question is no longer whether we should take these steps but how we will do that.

We cannot ignore the fact that this crisis is hitting some people harder than others. But we can do justice to the worst-hit groups by implementing policy reforms that will make future crises less hard on these groups - and all of us - and lead to less fear, or possibly even prevent another crisis. We strongly urge politicians, policy makers and our fellow citizens to help achieve this transition.

There is a lot to appeal in that. We have to remember that climate change is still a massive issue.  But such a transition will take time.

PS Translati0n is by Google: I am presuming it is accurate.