One Planet Thinking
The conclusion of WWF’s most recent Living Planet Report (2008) is that we are now living in severe ecological overshoot. Worldwide, people are consuming about 30% more natural resources than the planet can replace.
We are living on ecological credit, drawing down the stock of natural capital while our overall consumption exceeds the planet’s ecological limits. As with an increasing bank overdraft, this cannot go on for ever: it is clear that a step change is needed.
In a One Planet Economy, we will be living in a world that will certainly be different from the one we live now. In order to prevent a 2 degree Celsius rise in global average tempertaures we would have globally decarbonised our economies. We would have also significantly dematerialised them as well with products being built with resource efficiency, re-use and recycling in mind.
Some elements of a One Planet Economy might, for a few more years, appear quite radical. For all the new opportunities, this is also an agenda with some costs. It requires investment. For those who equate their quality of life with extravagant use of resources, change could be unwelcome. Political leaders will need the strength to mobilise support for action that will not always benefit voters within the timeframes of parliamentary elections. They will also need the tenacity to see such actions through.