In the 1930s, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a “New Deal” policy to overcome the Great Depression. Less than 100 years later, the world is facing an even more global challenge: the climate crisis. In this Falling Walls Plenary Table, our international panelists ask whether this requires an equally historic “Green New Deal”, and how science, society, politics and the global economy may work together towards a better future.

“We need to get out of the doom and gloom and into a technological mindset”, says Mark Ferguson. In his opinion, scientists need to become good businesses, with funding at scale and a right to fail. Technology that helps with active carbon removal or the reuse of CO² has to be enabled on a global scale, while strict political measures to curb emissions have to be employed worldwide to tackle the climate crisis.

The climate crisis requires new incentives

At the same time, in the words of Andrea Noske, “it has to be fancy to protect the climate”. There needs to be a change in the mindset of both companies and individuals alike. After all, both sides are connected: A “Green New Deal” can only work with green new economics. Markets will only change if enough customers demand greener products and more transparency. Building trust, fighting misinformation and a decoupling of growth and resources are important steps towards this common goal.

On the side of science, already five percent of all published papers around the world deal with the climate crisis. There is already huge interdisciplinary research happening, yet for a “Green New Deal” to work, it is time to work even more closely together. So what are we waiting for?