Conference Statement – my Turbo version

Knowledge brokering08 Jun 2010

What will be the challenges for next 50 years?

1. Improving eco-efficiency (environmental pressure per unit of value added/GDP) necessary to cope with increasing affluence and population growth;

2. Reduction of total environmental impact for major environmental stressors required, eg. climate change emissions.

3. Deep improvements in products/technologies eco-efficiency performance needed, on average 3% per year. Balanced ‘win win’ eco innovation not sufficient. Some systems will need drastic eco-efficiency improvement figures, because some (railway and airline transport and staple foods) cannot achieve required figures in short term;

4. Other options include are shifting demand. Drivers: cultural (weak), price and (exceptionally) prohibition policies and reducing demand (working less, earning less, spending less: degrowth). Using half of (2%) labour productivity for leisure reduces labour volume and consumption substantially. Over 40 years, towards 2050, this could mean a reduction of around 1/3 of total consumption (and hence of environmental damage). No other measure has such potential.

5. Eco-efficiency improvement, adapted consumption patterns and reduced growth, especially of the richest in the world, may achieve the required environmental improvement to bring about a sustainable world. Short term financial considerations should not obstruct this, since increased leisure increases human welfare and happiness directly, and does so indirectly through improved environmental quality and reduced risk on disasters.