Have the London Extinction Rebellion protests changed anything ?

Have the London Extinction Rebellion protests changed anything ? (NBC)

  • Yesterday marked the end of protests across London by Extinction Rebellion, a movement aimed at enacting environmental policy change. Over 1,000 protestors were arrested over the 11 days.
  • Whilst more right-wing commentators claim the protests would achieve nothing, others have pointed to the success of the group.
  • Extinction Rebellion are expecting meetings with several politicians, including the Environment Secretary Michael Gove, and gained significant publicity across the world.

Analysis & Comments

  • What is interesting about the recent London protests, which are just the latest in a long list of similar marches etc around the world, is not so much the rightness or otherwise of their arguments but the question around what consequential political risk does it highlight ?
  • To be clear – I am a firm believers in the power of markets to help solve many of the current global challenges (well summarised in the 16/17 UN Sustainable Development Goals UN Sustainable Goals (UN)). Private sector led innovation, supported by appropriate regulation, subsides and public sector support can make a real difference.
  • The flip side is that if, as investors and corporates, we ignore or mis-manage the wider social & political element of the debate, then the risk is that we face either tighter regulation being imposed or (in the case of the UK) a new Labour led government that sees a need for higher taxes, more regulation and a smaller role for the private sector (as illustrated by the current debate about nationalisation of the water industry could UK Water be nationalised at a lower cost ? (FT) )

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