Intergenerational issues matter. Humanity has acquired an ever-increasing capacity since the industrial revolution to benefit future generations – but, equally, a capacity to inflict immense longterm harm. Unfortunately, there is now substantial evidence that our industrialized civilization is causing serious, widespread and irreversible harm. Globally, this is especially true with respect to biodiversity loss, ecological degradation and climate change.
With this context in mind, the guest editors of this issue of Policy Quarterly – Andrew Coleman and Girol Karacaoglu – invited young New Zealanders with an interest in public policy to reflect on intergenerational issues and offer their vision for the future. Six contributions are published here, together with an introductory and explanatory essay by the guest editors. Collectively, these seven articles comprise the first part of the May issue.
Most of the contributions were completed prior to the grim events that have transformed our world since early 2020. To rectify this gap, I have invited Grant Duncan and Michael Fletcher (who had previously agreed to edit Policy Quarterly in August on a different topic) to seek contributions on the policy issues raised by, and longer-term implications of, COVID-19. Many people have responded to their request. Hence, the August issue will explore a broad range of pandemicrelated matters: constitutional, governance, fiscal, social and environmental.