Our models of industrialisation and economic development have been based on unsustainable use of natural resources. The world is close to ecological collapse. This extract-use-pollute-throwaway paradigm has not withstood the test of time nor advanced social justice. Our natural system cannot regenerate or adapt fast enough and the poorest people are being left behind. If we do not change course, the most vulnerable will increasingly suffer as the planet’s life support systems fail one by one.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
The 21st Century sees a race to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero, enabling us to transition from fossil fuel sources to 100% clean energy, contributing to improving the lives of the 2.7 billion people currently struggling to survive on less than two dollars per day. This transition is happening through smart design, energy efficient innovation and increased use of renewable energy which is falling rapidly in costs. This new race to reach zero emissions in ways that support zero poverty opens the floodgates of innovation – from political solutions, to development opportunities for the poor, to marketplace opportunities. At the finish line of this exciting new race lies an optimistic, fair sustainable future for people and planet. The more of us that join the race, the faster we will progress and the more benefits we will generate for each other.