Facing the Planetary Emergency

Facing the Planetary Emergency

(#23 of the Together-Ensemble series) 

If our humanity has been able to create the chaos in which we find ourselves today, we believe we are also the only ones among all species to be able to fix it and invert the trend.

And it is the right time to start.

The covid-19 crisis has been a collective wake up call, which has revealed a number of needs, including the one to pursue a big cultural change within government institutions.

Because, it is the only way to be able to deal rapidly with the mega policy challenges we have and will be facing, including the one covered in this session: “How do we encourage people to consume differently?

We have to make evolve considerably the way we work together. At all levels of governance we need to find new ways to collaborate, develop inclusive policy, and take action with an agility never experienced. 

And not in a one-off manner, we need to do this whenever the complexity of our issues will demand it.

The European Commission has worked on developing this programme, which we called Together-Ensemble, in order to reflect our main value, which is Diversity. Years of research, experimentation inspired by other practices in liquid democracy such as the French Citizens Convention for Climate helped us design a concept which is at the same time light, enjoyable and powerful.

Today, we invite you to experience it and we hope this will serve as an inspiration for you too.

Our GOAL by the end of this session, is to make you feel energized and willing to develop partnerships, in order to address the planetary emergency.

Because we think that we have the responsibility to become a real force for good, to instill the right mindset in people around us.

We can all make Europe lead a brighter future. It’s not the time to freeze, it’s the time to act. It’s not the time to be afraid, it’s the time to grow our appetite.

Please find here the outcomes of the first Together-Ensemble session with participants from national, regional, local and EU administrations, together with international organisations and civil society.

This allowed us to have amazing conversations as well as fruitful relationships.

OPEN CONVERSATION

Sandrine Dixson-Declève (Co-President of the Club of Rome)

Mohua Mukherjee (Green energy investment expert; former lead India Solar Energy Team, World Bank),

Janez Potocnik (co-chair, UN International Resource Panel, former European Commissioner for Environment)

Laurent Bontoux (Senior foresight for policy expert, JRC).

You can watch the webinar part here. Please note that this is internal “raw” material, not originally intended for external publication, but knowing the difficult context and associated challenges, we have decided to make it available to all. It is offered by the European Commission with a view to encourage everyone to take similar initiatives to encourage a benevolent direction.

Facing the planetary emergency | Dec, 2021 | Medium | Together-Ensemble

MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE WORKSHOP

This talk inspired about 150 people to formulate the following recommendations.

  • Do not punish the “unsustainable” consumers but reward the “sustainable” consumers. Provide incentives for much easier train travel, to be rewarded for a planetary contribution and to make it convenient.
  • Push systemic change. At planetary scale: systemic changes are needed on subsidies, taxation, production. Demand transparency in governance and defend democracy. Do not remain politically correct. The economic system and tools need to be reconsidered. shift of the economy towards providing services rather than products.Need to revalue the natural and social capitals. We need to change our values to a more equal system. Contribute to the commons and invite kids to see that as the source of relationship, resources, and growth.
  • Shorten supply chains.
  • Rethink “recycling” – help with disposal of un-usable electronics. Improve the plastic recycling
  • Encourage circular and “wellbeing” economy – Repair stuff instead of replacing it Share more, buy less. Own less. Provide guidelines on lifestyles. Showing the example by living a frugal life and helping people imagine a fruitful, happy future for themselves and as a society. This requires a lot of discussions about values and pushing the values debate to the political level. We want more green solutions. We need industry to change now, not to do business as usual. We need commitments form industry for greening, even it is difficult and long term shift. Use the evidence from science. Stop non-green products and industry asap. And propose more green solutions with better availability and affordability. Have societal debates at multiple levels about what is a good and meaningful life.
  • Become active citizens – Get more ‘political’, participate more in local decisions. Move mindset from ‘consumer’ to ‘citizen’. Promote holistic policymaking. More deliberative democracy, with impact. Create a real culture of partnership between administrations and citizens. Join political parties, NGOs and trade unions. Become an activist, enter local politics even if via NGOs, committees etc.
  • Reduce drastically what we consume – Need less (of everything)- Have a better planning of the meals to avoid waste. Eat more local. Sustainable food is a very important topic. Improve food labelling, show the carbon footprint and allow people to make informed decisions.
  • Distribute the costs of the green transition fairly.
  • Small changes make a difference. Highlight solutions. Take the train instead of the plane to travel, but for this trains need to be a lot more affordable. travel less but stay longer. Choose free packaging alternatives. Listen to your kids/the younger generation and they will tell you many changes that you can do. Buy more art instead of plane tickets. Live in smaller spaces, find more efficient heating. We need to return to a situation where politicians really represent the people again, so we can make the proper decisions. Story-telling for behaviour change. Share items instead of throwing away. Shift to sustainable and green finances by opening an account on one of the green banks. Have a garden and a “composter” to grow some vegetables to start with! Consider what we can add, not just cut.
  • Educate children on the importance of nature and interconnectedness of our system (through poetry, walks, sciences… the possibility given to children to learn and feel nature. E.g. Steiner schools. Tap the consciousness of all people, preserve communities and engage in storytelling for a positive future. New ethics as called for by the Dalai Lama.

Related links:

System-Change-Compass-full-report_final.pdf (systemiq.earth)

A European Green Deal | European Commission (europa.eu)


Next article: “Who really controls our lives?”. So tell me, do you know?

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