Today humanity faces great challenges that we must overcome.
Climate change has been part of our everyday life for the past years and will eventually take over our future. Another major problem is the loss of biodiversity, which not only affects us and the well -being of our planet, but also the economy. These are just a few examples of the harm that pushes the system towards failure. There are multiple possibilities and solutions that could at least slow it down, however, our global economic system is not strong enough for it to create a good balance of environmental and social goals.
What is green economy?
When we hear “Green Economy” we think of a well put together economic system that creates equality between human comfort and reduces environmental risks. This is a great principle to start with however, translating the idea into reality is more complicated. For it to work long-term, it has to be carbon-free and resource efficient. Furthermore, the green economy focuses on people’s health and wealth and aims to narrow the gap between different lifestyles and tries to provide a solution for inequality.
Production and consumption are key problems in the overall challenge. As we know, mass production plays a huge role in failing to keep up a sustainable system. Humans tend to go by, the more the merrier concept, yet do not consider the damage behind it. Many companies decide to produce their products in Asia, as it is the cheapest option but this contaminates the environment in multiple ways. On the other hand, production in Europe, for example, would be more sustainable altough a lot more expensive. Additionally, the contrast between the well-being of these workers is also enormous which again, destroys the idea of a people-centred system.
As technology is developing rapidly, it must be viewed from different perspectives. We use the help of technology in our everyday lives, and the future will also be based on it. Most of these are awfully harmful for the environment and gives a negative push to climate change and the loss of biodiversity.. Carbon pollutes the air, water, and life on land. Although many great solutions already exist, like solar panels, wind turbines, air source heat pumps, but, they are still behind compared to the faster yet more toxic technology. Of course, switching to totally carbon-free technology is not possible from one day to another and would be drastically expensive.
What are the possible solutions to these problems and how realistic are they?
Green economy is led by both domestic and foreign interests for more green products and services. Food waste is considered a massive issue is most developed countries. Many people go for the cheaper options when visiting a supermarket, without the possible knowledge of how the product got onto the shelf. Organic food is not only healthier, but helps smaller farmers and companies, and last but not least it is a way more sustainable option, because the product travels less. As for the mass production problem, it would be a solution if not all the production would be located in Asia, and lower the production prices in Europe where more sustainable methods are used, like green services which provide additional export opportunities for these countries.
Carbon-free technology is very real because it is already being used and the results speak for themselves. Sure, it is more expensive, but almost everything can be replaced with them, and it would dramatically pull back on the accelerated climate effect. Also, renewable energy should be an important step in creating a circular economy so more and more products can be reused without going to waste.
If more companies are open to making a change and investing in sustainable options, a strong cycle of true green economy could evolve and a stable global system could be built.
Fanni Rőthi – Ecocenter Team