“From Yellow Vests To The Green New Deal”

Joseph Stiglitz

Economics & Finance Speaker

Nobel Prize-winning economist and keynote speaker Joseph Stiglitz wrote an interesting Project Syndicate article last month on the need for the political establishment to embrace the policies of the “Green New Deal”.

Below is a summary of the article’s key points. If you’d like further information on Joseph Stiglitz’s speaker themes, availability and fees, contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk on leo@vbqspeakers.com or 0044 (0) 7833 727090.


As the rise in populism and the yellow vest movement show, there is an increasing mistrust in centrist government and politicians. 

This is the consequence of four decades of policies from the centre right and left that promised prosperity for all but delivered it only to the few. Such policies included advocating for globalisation, financialisation, deregulation and privatisation. 

Economic reforms are critical “to save us from the ugly wave of populism, nativism, and proto-fascism that is sweeping the world.” 

The Green New Deal being championed by progressives in the US offers hope. It is premised on three observations:

  • There are resources, such as human talent, that are un- and under-utilised
  • Wages and living standards for those with low skills and medium skills would rise if there were more demand for them in the labour market
  • A healthy environment is critical for human flourishing 

The Green New Deal could give those who are suffering most what they really need: good jobs. For example, in public transportation, healthcare, education, de-carbonising the economy and focusing on renewable energy. But it would have to retrain workers from industries where jobs will be lost, for example the 53,000 coal miners in the US.  

The grassroots momentum behind the Green New Deal is an opportunity for the establishment: “they should embrace it, flesh it out, and make it part of the progressive agenda.”

The original article appeared in Project Syndicate, January 7th 2019