The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Future Generations (APPG) works to make the welfare of future generations salient to policymakers in the present.
What problem are they trying to solve?
Current political systems are undeniably short-term. Future generations have no political representation, yet their wellbeing is dependent on the actions that we take today. The future is not guaranteed – a global catastrophe such as a civilization-ending plague could destroy not only the current generation but, as a consequence, every generation that would have come afterward. The APPG works to ensure that the United Kingdom government takes the welfare of future generations into account when making policy.
What do they do?
The APPG provides support to UK parliamentarians in combating short-termism, thinking about the long-term future, and combating existential risk by conducting speaker events and roundtable discussions, producing research and briefings, and building networks among like-minded policymakers. They assemble research in order to inform Parliamentarians on catastrophic risks and the policy options available for avoiding them.
Why do we recommend them?
Track record of success
APPG has demonstrated a concrete preliminary impact on UK policy-making:
- The APPG has grown its membership to more than 100 MPs and Peers, one of the largest All-Party Parliamentary Groups in the UK Parliament.
- The APPG supported Lord Martin Rees to successfully call for a 1-year Special Inquiry Select Committee on Risk Assessment and Risk Planning in the House of Lords.
- The APPG published a paper on risk management in the UK, drawing lessons from COVID. A launch event included 32 parliamentarians, as well as civil servants. The UK government has since committed publicly to reviewing its risk assessment methodology.
- The APPG supported Dr. Philippa Whitford MP to draft a resolution for a ‘Wellbeing of Current and Future Generations’ Bill to be introduced in Scotland. The Scottish government has since committed to requiring public bodies in Scotland to consider the long-term outcomes of their decisions.
- The APPG has supported the drafting and laying of Wellbeing of Future Generations bills, which have drawn support from more than 70 MPs and more than 40 Peers and received significant press attention.
- Evidence sessions conducted by the APPG on long-term policy making have been attended regularly by MPs and Peers; nine such sessions have been conducted as of this writing and past guests have included a Nobel laureate and a former NATO ambassador.
Clear path for future growth
The APPG plans to continue holding events and roundtables, growing its membership, and expanding with new initiatives (see following section). Because of the low attention currently accorded to future generations, the APPG’s continuation of its existing work is additive and immensely useful, and we believe that expanding its capacity to do similar work will amplify its impact.
What would they do with more funding?
New funds would allow for the continuation of the APPG’s existing work and enable some or all of the following programs:
- The APPG plans to soon publish an Inquiry on Long-term thinking in policymaking. Additional funding will allow the APPG to embed the inquiry's recommendations into political party manifestos ahead of a general election in 2024; and to incentivise the private sector to think long term.
- The APPG would like to conduct research and run events on risks from emerging technology. Three key themes the APPG would like to explore include risks from Large Language Models (LLMs), Cybersecurity in AI systems, and Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS).
- The APPG hopes to expand their support for the newly established Inter-Factional Group on "Strategic Foresight for Ukraine", focusing on how to better anticipate and prepare for risks arising from Russian aggression against Ukraine.
- The APPG aims to establish the equivalent of a UK APPG in the European Parliament. They believe this is essential to raise the profile of long-term thinking, global catastrophic and existential risks, and the impact of policies today on future generations at the EU level.