In September 2020, The Guardian reported that a majority of people across Britain supports an ambitious transformation of the United Kingdom into a greener, fairer, and more equal society. The assessment is based on an extensive inquiries by a cross-party group of MPs, which involved over 55,000 people through representative polls, workshops, and telephone conversations. One of the initiators, MP Clive Lewis, underlined that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have triggered a widespread desire for change:
“The findings of our research show that – almost irrelevant of age, sex, class or ethnicity – people want a fairer, greener, more community-oriented future. They do not want to see society go back to how it was.”
The report uncovers a wish to transform the world of work, for instance, through a guaranteed monthly income, more flexibility, and improved conditions for key workers. It also finds that the pandemic has increased people’s awareness of the importance of nature: “They want to see more local green spaces – and access to nature for everyone – and for the changes seen during lockdown, like reduced traffic and cleaner air, to be permanent.” According to the inquiry, those interviewed felt more connected to their neighbourhoods and expressed the wish for more vibrant local high streets with a variety of uses.
MP Caroline Lucas, the co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Green New Deal, which initiated the inquiry, said: “This is not a moment for timid tinkering with the status quo, it’s the time to build a fairer, greener Britain where the national effort is focused on health and wellbeing. There is a popular mandate for deep-rooted changes in our economy and society. The government must seize this moment and deliver on people’s hopes for a better Britain”.