A new paper by an international team of scientists and researchers sand papers the planet’s growth-oriented economies and the pursuit of affluence mantra.
If institutionally accepted worldwide, the study could potentially replace the fountainhead of Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) and replace it with “Sustainable Goals (SG).
The broad stroke in the analysis is climate change crisis versus growth-oriented economy.
Researchers say the pursuit of affluence is a major impediment to curbing global warming and repairing Earth’s damaged ecosystems.
The authors claim the pursuit of affluence is a major impediment to curbing global warming and repairing Earth’s damaged ecosystems –it’s actually dangerous and leads to planetary-scale destruction, the study shows.
To protect ourselves from the worsening climate crisis, we must reduce inequality and challenge the notion that riches, and those who possess them, are inherently good, says the authors.
The study is based on analysis of economic and energy-use trends over the last four decades. It showed that wealth growth has continuously outpaced efficiency gains.
The world’s wealthiest citizens shoulder most of the blame for the planet’s environmental problems, says the paper.
The wealthiest citizens have the largest carbon footprint and apply the greatest negative pressure to natural resources, researchers said.
The authors note that all of the world’s largest economies are designed to prioritize growth, which they call problematic.
Alter spending behaviors and shift investment patterns, the paper recommends. Some scientists estimate that the world’s economies will actually need to shrink in order to stave off ecological disaster.
The report suggests a more radical social change that leads away from capitalism to other forms of economic and social governance. It suggests eco-taxes, green investments, wealth redistribution through taxation and a maximum income, a guaranteed basic income and reduced working hours.
According to the researchers, the strongest pillar of the necessary transformation is to avoid or to reduce consumption until the remaining consumption level falls within planetary boundaries, while fulfilling human needs,
The new paper was published Friday in the journal Nature Communications.