“IS THE ‘DOUGHNUT’ OUR COMPASS IN THE 21st CENTURY?"
When one first meets the expression Doughnut Economics, he may think of a joke, or perhaps an economic model for managing the supply or the purchase of food. It is not the case! The Doughnut Economic Model proposed by Kate Raworth is a very deep, at the same time philosophic and pragmatic, approach towards the matter of sustainable economy. Thinking that there are 2 lines, 2 limits, 2 boundaries, that, when overpassed, could trigger a serious of nefarious things for human development is very valuable and of practical use for citizens, academics, firms and institutions. Kate Raworth, in her book Doughnut Economics, Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economis, explains clearly the basics for sustainable development.
In this interview (source: the magazine ‘Renewable Matter’) Kate Raworth answered to some key questions on her book.
“SUSTAINABILITY: A KEY FACTOR FOR INVESTMENTS TO BE PROFITABLE IN A LONG TERM PERSPECTIVE"
Sweden is one of the leading Countries on the issue of Sustainability. It is ranked as the Most Sustainable Country in the World according to the RobecoSAM’s Country Sustainability Ranking study. Combating climate change is one of Sweden’s top three priorities, and Sweden’s new climate change bill (February 2017) calls for a 70% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector by 2030. It is not only a question of planning…The concreteness of these planning is supported by a past of many initiatives which go in the direction of sustainability: Sweden’s shift from oil to district heating in the early 1990’s is a great example of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (i.g., District heating in Gothenburg); in the Umeå’s Ålidhem district, some 400 residential apartments – built in the 1960s and 1970s – have been refurbished with the goal of reducing their energy consumption by 50 per cent. These are only some of the many examples of Sweden commitment and strategy on sustainability. What makes this Country so different? What is its future strategy on sustainability? Is sustainability a burden to development? Why a Country should invest in sustainability? What kind of improvement can be done in Italy? Per Bolund, Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs at the Government of Sweden, answered these and other questions.
“A MOVEMENT FOR RETHINKING ECONOMICS"
Is the way economics is taught in Universities near to the real problems of the current society? Many students and professors are now doubting that economics as a discipline is too narrow, inward-looking or broken. It all started in Australia four decades ago. Students and professors at the University of Sydney were the first to highlight the narrowness of their economics education, and partially succeeded by opening a political economy department that still exists today. In 1992 a letter was published in the American Economic Review calling for a broader economics education signed by nine Nobel Laureates including Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow. Then came the 2007/8 – a global financial crisis that shook not only the global economy, but the foundations of economics itself. A global body of students met in Tubingen, Germany in 2012 to share experiences and discuss how things could be different. Groups began to grow in London (LSE, UCL), Cambridge and Manchester. The Rethinking Economics movement had begun, and then formally founded by Yang Yuan in 2013. A global network of rethinkers has grown all around the world, with conferences and events all over the year in many countries of the world. But what is exactly the Rethinking Economics Movement? How can you join it? What are its principles? What kind of changes can “Rethinking Economics” bring to society? Can it help solve challenges like Climate Change? Daniel Lapedus, Head of Communications & Funding at Rethinking Economics (RE), answered to these and other questions.
“HOW TO MOVE BACK THE OVERSHOOT DAY"
Is Climate Change an anthropogenic phenomenon? There are a lot of scientific data that prove it. But there is still a debate on that going on. However, today one fact is undeniable: we, the humankind, use too much natural resources! Our economic and societal model aims at improving our material wellbeing, without giving the needed importance to the efficiency Earth’s natural resources are used. This fact has very well been studied, proved, and communicated by the Global Footprint Network (GFN). The organization (founded by Mathis Wackernagel) provides us with two interesting figures: 1) the Ecological Footprint (the amount of hectares we use to satisfy our need) and 2) Earth Overshoot Day (the date on which we have used all the resources planet Earth can renew this year, so, to satisfy our next needs we will damage Planet Earth by eating into Earth’s stock of resources). According to the GFN, this year the Overshoot Day fell on 2nd August. What is the Overshoot Day? How does the “#movethedate” campaign work? What is the Ecological Footprint Calculator? How can the Ecological Footprint metric help to improve our lives? David Lin, Research director at the Global Footprint Network, answered these and other questions.
“HOW TO FACE CLIMATE CHANGE IN KENIA”
Let’s think about our daily life. We get up early in the morning, have a shower with “current water” (which we get simply by turning up the tap), and get food wherever we want during the whole day. That seems so normal that we can’t imagine someone living a different life. But that’s not the same for all people living in Kenya. In the 1970s, rural Kenyan women were reporting drying-up streams, food supply becoming less secure, great difficulty in getting firewood. This is why in 1977, Professor Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, founded the Green Belt Movement to help solving these problems and propose adaptation and mitigation actions to Climate Change. Since the establishment of the Green Belt Movement, landscapes have been restored and life for women in Kenya has improved a lot. The Green Belt Movement is an environmental organization headquartered in Kenya, with offices in the USA and in Europe. Among its main initiatives are Tree Planting and Water Harvesting, Gender Livelihood and Advocacy, and Climate Action. What are GBM major advocacy campaigns? What are the peculiarity of Climate Change in Africa? How can Developed Countries really help Afrcian Countries? Wanjira Mathai, Chairperson of the Green Belt Movement answered these and other questions.