Roosevelt Institute Launches Climate and Economic Transformation Program

March 26, 2020

The Roosevelt Institute recently launched the Climate and Economic Transformation program, which will research and promote government’s affirmative role as a public provider and the rules and institutions necessary for healthy, equitable governance. The program will focus on using these tools of economic transformation to address many problems in the US and beyond, including the climate crisis.

The team includes Rhiana Gunn-Wright as Director of Climate Policy, Bracken Hendricks as a Fellow, Kristina Karlsson as Senior Research Associate, and Todd Tucker as Director of Governance Studies. Gunn-Wright and Hendricks are new to the Roosevelt team and shared their thoughts on the organization and its new program, as did Roosevelt Vice President of Research Julie Margetta Morgan:

“From the beginning of my career, I’ve set out to create an economy that was not only decarbonized but socially just. To me, climate policy is economic policy, and Roosevelt—much like the Green New Deal coalition—gets that,” said Gunn-Wright. “With the launch of this new program, we have an opportunity to build better communities, with better health and mobility as well as greater access to wealth and resources for all people. I’m excited for the work ahead.”

“Solving the climate crisis means raising standards and driving new investment. If done right, this will create jobs, expand access to the middle class, and build thriving communities,” said Hendricks. “I’ve dedicated my professional life to advancing climate solutions that build a more just and inclusive economy, including working within the labor movement and crafting federal and local climate policies. In the end, advancing equitable climate solutions means building an economy that works better for working people. Roosevelt is the right place to advance climate policy as a fundamental building block of economic progress.”

“This program centers a reinvigorated role for government as an economic transformer—one that goes beyond simply redistributing revenue and actually coordinates across entire sectors of the economy, galvanizing innovation and harnessing private capital in pursuit of a more sustainable and better functioning economy,” said Margetta Morgan. “Ultimately, we want to advance a socially just, innovative, and decarbonized economy and develop federal policies that redefine private investment and promote more robust public investment.”

Our nation faces many crises, including climate change, that require a much more expansive and much more active public sector. In the next 12 months, this new initiative at Roosevelt intends to develop and promote pro-growth, pro-worker, pro-democracy policies and build stronger alliances with progressive allies, think tanks, and elected officials.