From “greening” the present system to real transformation

Janez Potochnik keynote speaker at event From greening the present system to real transformation

Earth4All contributor Janez Potočnik will deliver a keynote on 5 December 2023 as part of the kick-off event of the Growth in Transition initiative, co-organised by the Austrian chapter of the Club of Rome.

Janez Potočnik is an economist from Slovenia, and was leading the core negotiating team for the accession of Slovenia to the EU. Currently he is co-chairing UNEP’s s International Resource Panel (IRP) and he is also a member of the Club of Rome.

He will speak about the need to move away from an economy based on extractivism and towards one that aims to meet human needs. The scale of impacts linked to the way resources are extracted and processed for our global economy is astounding. According to the IRP, resource extraction accounts for over 55% of GHG emissions, up to 40% of particulate matter health related impacts, costing over 200 million disability-adjusted life years every year and contributing over 90% of total land-use related biodiversity loss. If not addressed, the impacts of our resource use will derail all hope of meeting multilateral environmental agreements like the UNFCCC, UNCCD, and the CBD.

Meeting human needs does not need to be resource intensive and we must stop extraction-based economic success. We should focus our attention on transforming most resource-intensive systems like those delivering shelter, nutrition, mobility, and energy. Designing solutions for “provisioning systems” meeting human needs would allow and incentivise the cross-sector innovation and shifts to a more future-fit business models. This could lead to the reduction of resource use and provide multiple co-benefits for people and planet, in short leading to improving wellbeing for all within planetary boundaries.

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