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Universal Basic Services: the way ahead for a sustainable future?

  • by JW

Universal basic services (UBS) can play a crucial role in tackling the climate emergency, says a report out today. 


The Hot Or Cool Institute is a Berlin-based think tank which “explores the intersection between society and sustainability, we bring together researchers and practitioners to facilitate solutions to global problems”, looking at issues such as fast fashion and sustainable living – and as such might be of interest for the VGS: Home | Science, Society and Sustainability | Putting people and science at the centre of the sustainability transition

They have just put out a report on UBS: Universal Basic Services: Provisioning for our needs within a fair consumption space | Hot or Cool

Which is indeed something the VGS has also looked at: How to bring down our energy bills: universal basic energy – Vision Group for Sidmouth and Universal Basic Income/Services in a time of crisis – Vision Group for Sidmouth

It might well be considered too prescriptive an approach – but is still worth debating as we look to considering our future.

The Hot or Cool report has been put together in collaboration with the NEF: 


Through universal basic services we can ensure everyone has what they need and deliver it in a way that reduces our emissions

Universal basic services (UBS) can play a crucial role in tackling the climate emergency, says a report out today from NEF and the Berlin-based Hot or Cool Institute. UBS deliver secure social foundations by making sure everyone has access to life’s essentials and promote equity by meeting everybody’s needs, regardless of income or status. They can be designed to curb harmful emissions and safeguard natural resources.

Today’s report highlights UBS as an indispensable eco-social policy, vital to all efforts to build a sustainable economy and a Green New Deal, in the UK and across Europe. It does this in three ways: by influencing public attitudes and consumption patterns; by transforming provisioning systems; and by underpinning political programmes to bring about a green transformation. 

We need universal basic services to tackle the climate crisis | New Economics Foundation