Source: IEEP Press release
Europeans will not be able to live prosperous and healthy lives on a peaceful European continent in 2050 if they don’t reduce by 80% the amount of natural resources used for nutrition, housing, mobility and lifestyle needs, according to the #Think2030 new report, which synthetizes non-partisan evidence from over 100 policy experts from European think tanks, civil society, the private sector and local authorities.
On the eve of Black Friday, the annual shopping day which actively promotes excessive consumption, the #Think2030 platform underlines that all the evidence points to a new level of urgency for Europe’s politicians to put sustainability first in Europe’s election year. 30X30 Actions for a Sustainable Europe calls for a high-level action plan to boost sustainable consumption, mitigate climate change and stop biodiversity loss.
“Protecting security, health and jobs is possible within the means of the planet but it will require major policy change. The good news is that there are sustainable solutions which do not mean sacrificing people’s hard- earned quality of life,” said Celine Charveriat, Executive Director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy which convened the #Think2030 platform.
The #Think2030 platform has calculated an 80% reduction in material footprint per capita, which requires a one-ton reduction per year until 2050*, is achievable through resource efficiency and a reduction in consumption of non-essential, high-footprint products.
Charveriat continued: “This is not about blaming consumers. #Think2030 is about sharing the full body of scientific evidence with politicians and providing them with proven policy proposals to drive sustainability. European policies need to go well beyond green labelling and ensure that the next generations of products are safe and do not consume the planet away.”
A resource efficiency and low carbon revolution would represent a boon for Europe’s economy, create jobs and boost careers for young people. The global market for low carbon goods and services, estimated at more than Eur. 4.2 trillion, is rapidly growing and Europe has the opportunity to be a global player in circular economy innovation.
Charveriat concluded: “A failure to act on consumption means that the global scramble for natural resources will get out of control well before 2050. We no longer have the time or the natural capital to waste. Our own peace and security are at risk.”
* Based on current technology, one ton of material footprint represents one of the following: 2500 km of air travel (a return trip from Brussels to Madrid); 495 km by car (a return trip from Budapest to Vienna); or 33 kg of meat (around half of the current per capita average consumption of meat in Europe).
- The summary of the report
- The Think 2030 Synthesis Paper
- The package of the reports on all the 30 policy recommendations
- A full explanation of the methodology is availale in Backgrounder on sustainable consumption.
- Backgrounders on European decision-making timelines, on sustainable consumption and European environmental policy
- Videos from Members of the European Parliament and experts
- Infographics 1, 2, and 3 to illustrate the complex issues and the policy solutions
- Quotes from the #Think2030 platform.