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Three massive challenges facing the UK


  • Climate change

A very short blog this morning as I am on holiday in Scotland.

If anyone has any money to invest, I strongly recommend the British tourist industry. It’s absolutely packed out in Aviemore, they’ve even run out of skis!

The last time I was here there was hardly any snow and much talk of climate change destroying the winter economy. So here, at least, some good news. Otherwise, there isn’t much to smile about.

Over the last two years, as we here sought to encourage and support RSA Fellows to work together, one of the questions we have heard asked is, “But, what should we be trying to do?” It seems to me the whole country faces 3 massive challenges.

First, how do we survive the recession and, in particular, how do we protect the most vulnerable and develop new models of wealth creation?

Second, given that we are about to enter a long period of public spending squeeze (tighter, according to the IFS than under the early years of Margaret Thatcher), how can we protect public services and meet growing needs? This has to involve major advances in productivity, involving better mobilising the capacity of individuals and communities; but how do we do it?

And finally, of course, how do we not just continue to focus on climate change but start to work out how on earth we are going to meet the target of an 80% cut in emissions by 2050?

There is so much that the talented and committed Fellowship of the RSA could do. We here at John Adam Street are ready to support Fellows’ efforts; let's see the whole of this great society step up to the plate.

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