Episode four, Season two of the Climate Curious podcast is now live with our special guest, Angela Francis.

“At the point at which we’re thinking about rebuilding the economy, we really need to think about how we make it work for everybody,” says TED Speaker, environmentalist and economist Angela Francis on the latest episode of the Climate Curious podcast by TEDxLondon. In this green economics 101 masterclass, Angela breaks down in a brilliantly accessible way how the economy works, what a green one would look like, how we make a just transition – ultimately opening our eyes to the fact that we need to reframe ‘costless’ practices in our present day, dirty economy. 

Angela Francis on the TEDxLondonWomen stage in 2019. Photo credit: Jason Wen

Why it’s time for the green economy

The dirty economy, i.e. the one we live in today, isn’t working for anyone, Angela tells us. And that isn’t just because of the effect it has on the planet – it’s  As she says in her TED Talk, How to Get Everyone To Care About A Green Economy (boasting a staggering 1.4 million views), “moving to a green economy delivers on the things that people are already worried about. It improves their lives, whether they care about the environment or not.” 

This distinction is important. Wanting a green economy shouldn’t just be for the privileged few looking to optimise their lives with a Tesla or a pair of Vejas, – it’s something that can benefit everybody.

You want us to worry about the end of the world. We have to worry about the end of the week. And it’s that kind of clash of perspectives, I think that environmentalists don’t always understand. […] People have not got money to think about buying an electric vehicle or insulating their home,”

Introducing the idea of a green economy, Angela explains that it’s a new system of recognising and measuring value. She proposes building in extra sorts of value into the economic calculator.

“We can design our policies and systems to reflect the fact that all the pollution we’re creating and this loss of species and ecosystems is not costless. It just looks costless. […] If you set your systems correctly, you get better solutions. And investing in those better solutions make us all better off, even the businesses that deliver them. Everybody gets better off,”

So what’s stopping us from getting there?

“You can’t choose to change the infrastructure around you,” says Angela. Systemic change never happens overnight, but given the period of change the world is going through right now, Angela inspiringly quotes Sir William Beveridge in her belief that it’s during a crisis that we can inspire the world to change: “A revolutionary moment in the world’s history is a time for revolutions, not for patching,” she quotes. 

In this conversation, hosted by TEDxLondon’s Maryam Pasha and advocate exploring what positive masculinity can look like, Ben Hurst, Angela explains how to get everyone excited about the green economy, how we can reshape our value systems (and assign true cost to environmental damage) and gives us a solid understanding of how we can make the transition fair and equitable. 

Until next time – stay curious!

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