In the age of environmental breakdown, breakdown, the political status quo has no answer to the devastating and inequitably distributed consequences of the climate emergency. We urgently need an alternative to bring about the rapid transformation of our social and economic systems. As we rebuild our lives in the wake of COVID-19 and face the challenges of ecological disaster, how can the left win a world fit for life?
Planet on Fire is an urgent manifesto for a fundamental reimagining of the global economy. It offers a clear and practical road map for a future that is democratic and sustainable by design. Laurie Laybourn-Langton and Mathew Lawrence argue that it is not enough merely to spend our way out of the crisis; we must also rapidly reshape the economy to create a new way of life that can foster a healthy and flourishing environment for all.
Planet on Fire offers a detailed and achievable manifesto for a new politics capable of tackling environmental breakdown.
Laurie Laybourn is currently Director of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, which represents over 600,000 health professionals in the UK on climate change and a Senior Research Fellow at IPPR.
Mathew Lawrence is the founder and Director of Common Wealth, a UK-based think tank that designs ownership models for a democratic and sustainable economy. Previously he was a Senior Research Fellow at the IPPR, where he worked on their influential Commission on Economic justice.
"A clear, powerful vision. Don't miss this book."
– Jason Hickel, author of Less Is More
"A transformative Green New Deal is more urgent than ever, charting a course beyond fossil fuel capitalism and eco-apartheid. This vital contribution shows how we get there and will be a political guide for the times ahead."
– Kate Aronoff, author of Overheated
"Framing the situation in terms of the global inequality that fuels extractive global capitalism, and its roots in colonialism, Lawrence and Layborne-Langton put this power imbalance at the heart of their analysis. It enables them to offer some worthwhile answers for how we might solve our interconnected crises."
– Ann Pettifor, Guardian
"Offers an urgent alternative."
– George Eaton, New Statesman
"Offers blueprints and rally points for energies, as well as chronicling useful histories for a decarbonized future. It is a handbook for the fights to come."
– Quinn Slobodian, author of Globalists
"This clear and incisive book shows how climate breakdown is intimately linked to all the overlapping crises humanity faces and maps a route to an equal and sustainable world."
– Grace Blakeley, author of The Corona Crash
"For all who would build tomorrow not merely suffer it; for all who would heal the rifts that threaten us; for all who know that we must now turn our backs once and for all on domination, oppression, and exploitation: this book is a manifesto and a call to arms. Please read it."
– John Ashton, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College
"A realistic, achievable and hopeful alternative to the predominant narrative of doom which typically surrounds discussions of environmental destruction."
– Carola Rackete, Captain of Sea-Watch 3
"Eloquent, clear-sighted and erudite, Planet on Fire is an important analysis of the interlocking political and economic forces driving us towards ecological catastrophe, and a credible route-map towards an alternative."
– Will Davies, author of Nervous States
"We now face an environmental crisis. This book sets out the scale of the emergency as well as marks out the route to a better society. It is an essential read."
– John McDonnell, Labour MP
"The authors' vision of the path to climate justice is an antidote to disaster politics in so many ways, not least because it is both fair and unexpectedly luxurious. Each page is absolutely brimming with ideas as they meticulously take us through every important sector of the economy and reveal carefully thought through recommendations for reform. By focusing on power and who wields it they correctly identify the levers for change and who must now be empowered to push them."
– Michelle Meagher, author of Competition is Killing Us
"Reading Planet on Fire feels like traversing a humming, interdependent ecosystem of ideas, porous to the post-crash movements and thinkers shaping today's progressive environmentalism [...] Starkly realistic whilst unflinchingly radical, Planet on Fire is a guidebook of hope for this crucial decade."
– Flora Parkin, LSE International Development
"A practical starting point for reworking power structures that are dependent on extraction and initiating the new, society-oriented systems [...] essential reading."
– Martha Dillon, It's Freezing in LA!