Skip to main content

Climate Justice & Capitalism: System Change vs. Pocket Change

Help us make it happen Donate to FoD
Sust Com

In partnership with the Sustainability Committee

The climate crisis clock is fast-ticking, and the political-economic system of capitalism is increasingly being questioned. Taking a broad view of the crisis as being at the centre of intersecting systemic issues, the Sustainability Committee at the University of Sheffield Students’ Union hosts a debate on capitalism and achieving climate justice between Professor Michael Jacobs - a political economist specialising in environmental policy and former Special Advisor to Prime Minister Gordon Brown - and activist, author and co-founder of Labour for a Green New Deal, Chris Saltmarsh.

How compatible is capitalism with addressing our environmental situation in the 21st century? Why is such a question generally avoided in the mainstream, still remaining at least relatively marginal? Should we focus on ‘capitalism’ itself or ‘neoliberalism’? What might the alternatives to capitalism look like? Should we be following a ‘de-growth’ direction in the (global) economy? And where does the ‘Green New Deal’, in its various versions, fit in these debates?

Join us as we go to the core of the climate crisis with key environmental figures, and with the opportunity for the audience to pose questions in an interactive Q&A following the main debate.

Professor Michael Jacobs is a political economist and environmental policy expert at the University of Sheffield, and a Professional Fellow at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI). He is also a former UK Government economic advisor and Special Advisor to Prime Minister Gordon Brown on climate and energy, 2007-10.


Chris Saltmarsh is an author and political activist on issues including the climate crisis, co-founder of Labour for a Green New Deal, and a postgraduate student at the University of Sheffield.

Part of our 2022 festival strand


How can we respond to the climate crisis and biosphere collapse?