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Poverty, Inequality, Environment: The Club of Rome’s Human Survival Handbook

A survival manual for humanity, with 15 recipes to implement immediately so as not to be overwhelmed by the looming emergencies: energy, food, poverty, inequalities, the question of women. The “user’s manual” for the decades to come is contained in a volume which has just been published (for the moment in English and German, but the Italian edition will arrive soon) by the Club of Rome, the association historical founded by Aurelio Peccei who in 1972 published the prospective The limits of development. Fifty years later, Jorgen Randers, Peccei’s partner and co-author of this landmark report, led a team of top-notch academics for this Earth for All: A Survival Guide for Humanity. Alongside Randers, the names of Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Sandrine Dixson-Declève, co-president of the Club of Rome, Jayati Ghosh, professor of development economics at the University of Massachusetts, stand out. among others Amherst. The thesis of the volume is this: inequalities, if they get out of hand, will lead over the next 50 years to increasingly dysfunctional societies, making it more difficult to cooperate in dealing with existential threats such as climate change. However, “the world can still stabilize global temperatures below 2°C and approach the end of poverty by 2050 by implementing five ‘extraordinary inversions’ that break current trends.” Five political reversals for the five emergencies, each divided into three points. So here are the 15 movements of humanity’s survival manual.

Eradicate poverty: lift 3 to 4 billion people out of poverty

1. The International Monetary Fund is proposed to allocate over $1 trillion a year to poor countries for investments that create green jobs.

2. High-income countries should cancel all debts to low-income countries (those with an annual per capita income of less than $10,000).

3. High-income countries and the World Trade Organization (WTO) should allow local infant-industry protection and encourage sustainable export expansion in low-income countries. We propose to the WTO to allow acceleration by granting waivers of intellectual property rights on patented renewable energy and health technologies.

world refugee day

One in 78 people in the world is displaced: 3 in 4 flee due to climate change

by Fiammetta Cupellaro

Reduce inequality: to ensure that the richest 10% do not take more than 40% of national income

4. It is proposed that all governments raise taxes on the richest 10% of society so that by 2030 they absorb less than 40% of national income (and the share of wealth controlled by the top 10% the wealthiest should continue to decline during this century). Stronger progressive taxation and closing international loopholes are key to tackling destabilizing inequalities and the carbon and biosphere consumption of luxury goods production.

5. Governments should pass laws to strengthen workers’ rights and unionization. At a time of profound transformation, workers need economic protection.

6. It is proposed that governments introduce citizenship funds to give all citizens their fair share of national wealth and the global commons.

Empowering women: to achieve full gender equity by 2050

7. All governments should increase access to education for all girls and women.

8. All companies and public bodies should achieve gender equality in leadership positions.

9. All governments should put in place adequate pension systems

Achieving food security: for healthy diets for people and the planet

10. Immediate access to food is provided, reducing overconsumption and ending waste in food supply chains.

11. An end to agricultural expansion is required and farmers/fishermen and politicians must adopt and encourage techniques for healthier soils/seas, more sustainable and regenerative practices, eliminating harmful subsidies.

12. A shift to healthy diets (eg grass-fed livestock and new proteins) that respect the planet’s resources is needed.

Renewable energies

The world’s largest offshore wind farm in the North Sea

Reverse the Gear on Energy: Towards Net Zero Emissions by 2050

13. Immediate redesign and exit from fossil energy systems.

14. Energy efficiency and electrification: Regulators and industries are urged to start “electrifying everything”, reducing consumption and optimizing energy efficiency.

15. There is an immediate need to triple investment of more than $1 trillion per year in new renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and practices, as well as in increased storage capacity.

“Over the next 50 years, the current economic system will increase social tensions and reduce well-being,” Club of Rome dean Jorgen Randers said at the volume’s launch. “Unless there is some truly extraordinary action to redistribute wealth, things will get significantly worse. We risk an explosive combination of extreme political destabilization and economic stagnation, at a time when we should do everything to avoid climatic disasters. “For this”, echoed Johan Rockström, “among hundreds of potential solutions, we have found five interconnected U-turns, which represent the simplest and most effective solutions, which we must start implementing in this decade to build economies that, by 2050, will operate within the limits of the planet”.


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