Posted: Jul 14 2020
Our current model of economic growth is unsustainable on a planet of finite resources. We are already consuming more than our fair share of natural resources, with devastating impacts on ecosystems and communities. The availability of resources is, and will remain, a cause of conflict as the global population increases, middle classes grow and developing nations expand their economies.
UN estimates that greenhouse emissions associated with food loss alone (waste - from field to kitchen bin) - is as high as 8-10% of ALL global emissions.
Right now, rich nations devour 28 tons of material per person per year – including everything from fish to forests, plastics to metals. That’s four times more than ecologists say is sustainable. It requires an extraordinary amount of energy to extract, produce and transport all that stuff. By using less of it, we can shrink global energy demand and make it much easier to decarbonize the economy.
It also provides our best hope of reversing other aspects of ecological collapse – from deforestation to soil depletion, from biodiversity loss to insect die-off. Reducing our material impact on Earth means freeing up more space for other living systems to recover and thrive.
This will change incentives across the economy – reorienting people and business toward long-lasting, repairable and recyclable products.