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A People’s Green New Deal

A People’s Green New Deal

Max Ajl

An urgent demand for a 'People's Green New Deal', foregrounding global agricultural transformation and climate justice for the Global South

The idea of a Green New Deal was launched into popular consciousness by US Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018. Evocative of the far-reaching ambitions of its namesake, it has become a watchword in the current era of global climate crisis. But what - and for whom - is the Green New Deal?

In this concise and urgent book, Max Ajl provides an overview of the various mainstream Green New Deals. Critically engaging with their proponents, ideological underpinnings and limitations, he goes on to sketch out a radical alternative: a 'People's Green New Deal' committed to degrowth, anti-imperialism and agro-ecology.

Ajl diagnoses the roots of the current socio-ecological crisis as emerging from a world-system dominated by the logics of capitalism and imperialism. Resolving this crisis, he argues, requires nothing less than an infrastructural and agricultural transformation in the Global North, and the industrial convergence between North and South. As the climate crisis deepens and the literature on the subject grows, A People's Green New Deal contributes a distinctive perspective to the debate.

Max Ajl is an associated researcher with the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment and a postdoctoral fellow with the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University. He has written for Monthly Review, Jacobin and Viewpoint. He has contributed to a number of journals, including the Journal of Peasant Studies, Review of African Political Economy and Globalizations, and is an associate editor at Agrarian South & Journal of Labor and Society

'Ajl guides us with an authority steeped in scholarship but also with panache. If you really want to learn what'll be necessary for our species to survive climate apocalypse, read this book. You'll then know the ways by which humanity's very fate can be won' - Rob Wallace, author of 'Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of COVID-19' (Monthly Review Press, 2020)

'Anyone wanting to understand the limitations of the Green New Deal, and how it is being employed as a tool to rationalize Green Capitalism, and sanitize its advance within the capitalist system must read this critical work' - Kali Akuno, Executive Director of Cooperation Jackson

'You cannot purchase your way out of climate change the same way you cannot pick a 'Green New Deal' brand that suits your personal preferences. Anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism are not by-gone projects, they're very much alive in the Global South. Left climate movements in the North would be better served by following their example as well as reading this critical work' - Nick Estes, author of 'Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance' (Verso, 2019)

'An amazing text, truly inspirational. There are few books in which nearly every sentence is urgent and quotable, but this is one. Lucid and profound, it assembles the elements that are necessary for an actual political program of survival and renewal' - Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of 'An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States' (Beacon Press, 2014)

Part I: Capitalist Green Transitions
1. Green Transition - or Fortress Eco-Nationalism?
2. Change Without Change: Eco-Modernism
3. Energy Use, Degrowth, and the Green New Deal
4. Green Social Democracy or Eco-Socialism?
Part II: A People's Green New Deal
5. The World We Wish to See
6. A Planet of Fields
7. Green Anti-Imperialism and the National Question
Published by Pluto Press in May 2021
Paperback ISBN: 9780745341750
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745341743

160 pages

140mm x 216mm