That Europe now needs to rebuild its economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is a given—the pressing question is how this can best be done. The EU Green Deal marks a significant change in the union’s vision for its economic future as it commits the region to decarbonization, ecosystem restoration, and social inclusion. But as implementation begins in earnest, the EU must consider how longer-term benefits in relation to systemic resilience and regeneration can be generated and optimized.
An economically weaker Europe will face new internal and external security risks, so the ways in which the region addresses climate- and ecology-related issues will be critical. Previous chapters in this compilation have shown that the links between recovery pathways and the security agenda also need proper, timely consideration. In particular, the trending assumption that decarbonization in the energy sector will be the primary means of jump-starting economic growth could obscure the parallel needs to secure an ecological future and address the geopolitical and human security risks inherent in a poorly executed Green Deal.
In this context, EU policymakers appear rather too comfortable with the belief that the internationalization of the Green Deal approach will be a sufficient response to wider geopolitical and human security challenges. Exporting tested Green Deal–style solutions would be a useful start, no question. But even if the Green Deal were to be fully and effectively delivered, which currently seems unlikely, it would still fall considerably short of what is needed.1
A new integrated economic and security paradigm is needed to guide the EU’s thinking, investment, and action—a paradigm configured not just around responsibility and efficiency but also around resilience and regeneration. Interest in the concepts of resilience and regeneration has grown noticeably since the pandemic began, but it is time to take action and rewire the union’s policies, incentives, and market mechanisms so that they reinforce all three goals: responsibility, resilience, and regeneration—both at home and abroad.
The shift toward regenerative economics and economies, alongside linked macroeconomic and geopolitical policies, requires Europe to position itself internationally in ways that foster mutual ecological, socioeconomic, and security benefits. And this positioning, in turn, requires a different baseline from which to assess the design and progress of EU climate policies and geopolitical strategy. While adding new climate elements to existing approaches of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy will certainly be necessary, this step alone will not be sufficient for long-term success. Still, there are other promising ways to achieve a genuinely systemic approach, such as by embracing the regenerative economy paradigm, expanding the change agenda, and exporting the regenerative economy model.
Green Stepping-Stones: Toward a New Scenario
It is far from certain that the Green Deal will act as a stepping-stone to broader systemic change. It is likely that the EU will take narrow incremental steps rather than designing structural solutions. In this case, the Green Deal could be left as an aspirational benchmark, designed in earlier, better times, with decarbonization discussed more than it is actually implemented. The EU needs a fundamentally different scenario from this—one of “European regeneration.” Under this scenario, new types of leadership drive inclusive, clean, and ultimately regenerative growth. Virtuous cycles kick in. Expansion beyond net-zero ambitions in major economies, coupled with major state-directed investment in key sectors, opens up new markets that thrive.2 Increased and widespread inclusion of female leadership helps spur this European regeneration.3 The Green Deal proves to be the first stage of a fundamental reworking of the European “project” both at home and abroad. This scenario would spur rising generations to actively help put their nations, regions, and the wider world on the path to a systemic, multidimensional recovery—and ultimately a global regenerative economy.4
The likelihood of this scenario occurring depends not just on reimagined continent-wide frameworks, rules, and regulations but also on a new spirit of radical innovation, fearless entrepreneurship, and financial risk-taking. Achieving success would require a new economic paradigm—fit for the twenty-first century—and very different priorities in terms of how to generate wealth, value, and well-being. The scenario’s ultimate outcomes, however, would increasingly be shaped by evolving power dynamics among the five dominant economic blocs: China, India, the United States, the EU, and, over time, Africa, as explained in chapter 5.5 In a period of geopolitical reordering, these dynamics are likely to be destabilizing without stronger coordination.
It is possible to draw many different conclusions from such projections, but one trend seems beyond dispute: as the decarbonization and wider sustainability agendas become mainstream, they must increasingly influence all forms of politics. Already we see climate action being sold by some European media in terms of green nationalism. Systemic progress will only be possible if these agendas are linked with all efforts related to security, health, and well-being (as pointed out in chapter 4). Again, the Green Deal represents a robust start, but the challenges now facing Europe are increasingly systemic—and thus demand systemic responses.
Green Swans: Exponential Progress
Nassim Nicholas Taleb asserts that the challenges that drive eventual systemic change typically hit out of the blue, have an off-the-scale impact, and are then—critically—misunderstood by many of those charged with ensuring that history does not repeat itself.6 However, the coronavirus pandemic, he concluded, was not an unpredictable event—what he terms a “Black Swan.” Coronavirus outbreaks were foreseen and the risks were largely ignored—very much like the risks associated with climate and biodiversity emergencies have been.
In support of the Green Deal’s “do no harm” oath, the EU should seek to leverage “Green Swans” or, in other words, profoundly positive market shifts. Although opposite to often catastrophic Black Swans, they are “generally catalysed by some combination of Black [unpredictable] or Gray [predictable] Swan challenges and changing paradigms, values, mindsets, politics, policies, technologies, business models, and other key factors.”7 At best, a Green Swan could deliver “exponential progress in the form of economic, social, and environmental wealth creation.” At worst, it could achieve progress “in two dimensions while holding the third steady. There may be a period of adjustment where one or more dimensions underperform, but the aim must be an integrated breakthrough in all three dimensions.”
Leveraging a Green Swan will be easier to discuss than do. Although many hope that the pandemic’s aftershocks will soon fade, this decade’s social, economic, and political quakes are likely just beginning and will be difficult to effectively manage. Populism has not yet run its course. And an economy built on fossil fuels is being rudely pushed into a future powered by electrons. In the process, core elements of the European economy are being disrupted. Brands like Mercedes and BMW are encountering radically different competitors—most notably Tesla but also burgeoning Chinese electric vehicle companies. An era of physics and chemistry is giving way to an era of information, biology, and ecology, in which there will be major winners and, inevitably, serious losers.
Embracing Regenerative Economics
A united Europe that is economically thriving would be better equipped for turbulent times than one that is politically fragmented, socially fractious, and economically challenged. Europe’s goals of the last century were unification, expansion, democratization, and integration. This century’s challenge will be the rebuilding of economies based on technologies, business practices, and policies that are socially inclusive and—via radical decarbonization and increasingly circular dynamics—environmentally sustainable. This time, the most obvious goals are social inclusion, decarbonization, and environmental regeneration, but others will become more pressing over time, such as human security, energy justice, and ecological security (see chapter 4).
The risks involved in ignoring or discounting the drivers and triggers of this century’s security and defense challenges are growing, particularly in areas where there is undue reliance on automatic U.S. intervention on Europe’s behalf. The region’s willingness and ability to invest in preemptive security, defense, and intelligence efforts that aim to avert conflict will be critical, as the post–World War period has been marked by increasingly troubled international relations.
To leverage relevant Green Swans in this context, the EU must pursue three priorities.
Priority 1: Embrace the Regenerative Economy Paradigm
Only through a timely, sustained, and effective push to shift the fundamentals of the European economy can the EU benefit from European regeneration. The spotlight must shift conclusively and deliberately to economic and business models that actively regenerate critical political, economic, social, and environmental systems. In short, EU member states must co-evolve a regional version of the regenerative economy,8 stretching current circular economy formulations that have become increasingly central to policy discussions.9
Europe must also rise to the challenge collectively, wherever possible, with investors and business leaders, workers and trade unions, and local, national, and international government agencies pulling together. Nationalism is still very much a force to be reckoned with, and unless democratic states create a united front, populism and nationalism will further feed on the intense social and economic dislocations likely to follow the full-scale deployment of technologies like autonomous vehicles, advanced robotics, and precision fermentation of cultured proteins.10
Leaders of older, fossil fuel–based industries sense the coming shifts and are trying to adapt to avoid being left on “the wrong side of history.”11 Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), was recently quoted in a Financial Times magazine article, stating that “our [IEA] numbers show that renewables are set to become the largest source of generation by 2025, overtaking coal—and ending the fossil-fuel domination of the last decades.”12 The IEA, originally formed to expand the use of fossil fuels, subsequently suggested an end to investment in fossil fuels by 2030.13
The energy and resource configurations of tomorrow’s economies will have huge implications for the security of most people on Earth. The more fossil energy used, history suggests, the more conflict-prone and resource insecure the world will become. To avoid this future, it is imperative to create renewable, circular energy systems; however, this will require deep and ongoing systemic assessments of risk and opportunity related to such areas as carbon leakage external to the EU.
Russia, known to “routinely play a disruptive role” in climate negotiations, is now relishing climate adaptation,14 while many of the Gulf states are pouring their oil money into solar export research, among other things via investment in the hydrogen economy.15 Meanwhile, the International Renewable Energy Agency underscores where the clean energy future seems to be erupting: China. The country is aided by the giant size of its domestic market and by state-directed investment in research and development and solutions now linked to green recoveries. As a result, China is expected to “account for almost half of the global increase in renewable electricity in 2021.”16
Accelerating the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy is crucial but does not guarantee less violence. New points of vulnerability will emerge, such as submarine cables transporting renewable energy to foreign markets—subject to both natural hazards and to sabotage. And as the move toward renewables progresses, violence around mineral extraction (versus oil production) will likely increase. Further, accelerating decarbonization alone will not address all the fronts of the climate crisis. Europe could decarbonize industry and its cities successfully, yet still leave substantial proportions of the continent’s agricultural soils locked in degenerative spirals. Some decarbonization efforts—for example, replacing woodlands or wetlands with solar farms—could also be ecologically problematic, counterintuitively displacing natural carbon sinks and destroying biodiversity.17
The uncomfortable truth is that European economies have often drawn on progressively larger hinterlands as empires, colonies, frontiers, and markets have expanded. Historically, much of the region’s wealth was extracted, with intergenerational consequences. But the intergenerational consequences of issues like climate change and the loss of healthy soils, forests, reefs, and species globally are not only pressing in but galvanizing the public. Whatever humanity may intend, people’s lifestyles are increasingly “colonizing the future,” as Roman Krznaric has argued.18 There is a risk that private enterprise and newly formed space commands, for example, will serve to colonize new planetary frontiers in the name of rare earth exploration and resource sovereignty.19
In addition, there are the economic challenges related to both aging and declining populations, alongside looming pressures on Europe to handle forced migration brought on by the threat multiplier of climate change.20 Much study has been done on sectors like automobiles, aviation, chemicals, fossil fuels, nuclear energy and tourism, but much less effort has gone into exploring the economic and ecological links with conflict, defense, policing, and security. The coming climatization of security may herald the securitization of climate, in which militaries must find a regenerative role in the former rather than a degenerative role in the latter.21
So expect to see an accelerating convergence between the sustainability and security agendas. The security and defense sectors are becoming increasingly interested in sustainability issues related to climate change, water scarcity, and the spread of exotic diseases. And further signaling the growing overlap of these agendas, the sustainability sector is becoming increasingly interested in the links between issues like forced migration and—in the wake of conflicts that cannot be averted—economic, social, and environmental recovery and regeneration.22
Priority 2: Expand the Change Agenda to Include Regenerative Economics
So what would a truly regenerative economy look like? No question, it would be increasingly circular, to use today’s policy mantra. But, according to the Capital Institute, it would also be resilient, sustainable, and supportive of integrated economic, social, and environmental recoveries. Market mechanisms would remain central but would be nested within political, social, and economic systems that take longer-term and pre-financial priorities into account. One example here would be the imposition of carbon taxes and linked tariffs.
Self-regulation will be vital: “Instead of pursuing greater government regulation as the only realistic solution to markets run amok,” the Capital Institute concludes, “policymakers in a Regenerative Economy understand the importance of designing incentive-driven, self-regulating systems that embody the critical balance between the freedom upon which innovation thrives and the constraints necessary for effective collaborative communities to work.”23
Take food production, for instance. While the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy embraces agroecology to challenge industrialized organic farming, the EU has yet to capitalize on regenerative agriculture. Progress toward regenerative economics could be made by linking the strategy more holistically to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.24 Lessons can be learned from developments in the United States, where some fast-food chains are experimenting with a shift from feed-lot cattle production, which compacts and destroys soils, to new forms of pasturing that mimic the movement of buffalo herds. As soils recover, they capture and store more atmospheric carbon, opening up the possibility of harvesting carbon credits—potentially creating virtuous regenerative cycles.
To ensure that the EU spurs market—not just business—innovation, new policy frameworks will be essential. For example, the EU could adopt a “Carbon Takeback Obligation,” a policy instrument to ensure that carbon dioxide from fossil energy no longer ends up in the atmosphere.25 It would require producers and importers of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas to permanently store an increasing percentage of the carbon extracted. This can be done by, among other things, carbon capture and storage.
Critical work is now being done in the pivotal discipline of economics. Economists like Mariana Mazzucato and Kate Raworth are among those investigating new ways of thinking about value.26 To get a better sense of what economic regeneration might involve in practice, the Green Swans Observatory, developed by Volans to help “make business sense of the regenerative economy,” is also focusing on potential solutions through four lenses: cities, electricity, food, and money.27 Futures lenses will also include education and security. The sort of questions the observatory is raising include the following: What would it take for buildings and cities to become increasingly indistinguishable from their ecological context? How could electricity supply systems move toward—and then beyond—net-zero carbon emissions? How could agricultural systems regenerate, rather than degenerate, soils and surrounding ecosystems? And how might financial markets fund the relevant transformations?
Some parts of Europe’s economy may progress in good order, but there are real question marks over the region’s capacity to embrace the coming flood tide of new technologies and business models. For example, there are growing concerns that the EU lags in areas like autonomous vehicles, robotics, artificial intelligence, and synthetic biology. The EU Green Deal insists that reskilling will be crucial, ideally leaving no one behind. But for many, reskilling will be fraught with structural and cultural hurdles. Educational systems must instill the ability to learn—and relearn—from an early age. Regenerative education practices enable people to nimbly self-reskill to transition into the emerging regenerative economy.28
Priority 3: Export the Regenerative Economy Model
Implementing the EU Green Deal will elicit unintended consequences—some good, some bad, and some ugly. The EU’s relative safety nets and “do no harm” aspirations of the Green Deal can help mitigate negative outcomes internally. However, externalities (including carbon leakage, pollution displacement, and human rights infractions) abroad may well undercut any good regenerative outcomes and could exacerbate already widening climate injustices.29 Meanwhile, the stakeholder engagement challenge has only grown, both inside and outside the EU. The move toward more socially inclusive economies that espouse local ownership (of the problems and solutions) requires engaging previously excluded ethnic, religious, gender, and minority groups and the poor, as well as nature itself as a legal entity or even personality.30
In times of economic disruption, the rewards will not simply go to the quick responders. Occasions will also arise for Europe to draw on its inclusive legacy to generate comprehensive solutions, including inclusive market opportunities abroad. In the process, the region can develop, refine, and export new models of regenerative economics. But history suggests that the ultimate winners in times like these are often those with less to lose because they are less vested in the old order and readier to experiment. And if new order insurgents increasingly outflank old order incumbents, there is a real risk that Europeans could become rule-takers rather than rule-makers. While the EU needs to keep a focus on good governance, accountability, and transparency, it should not stifle large-scale innovation through heavy-handed use of its precautionary principle.31
It is clear that the responsibility-oriented measures the EU has encouraged businesses to adopt in recent decades are necessary—but no longer sufficient—conditions for the long-term success of decarbonization and economic, sociopolitical, and environmental regeneration efforts. Transparency, accountability, stakeholder engagement, and supply chain initiatives are all crucial, but on their own, they are not turning the tide on our economic, social, environmental, and governance challenges.
The EU must also work to build greater, long-term resilience into all its systems, even if it is sometimes at the expense of efficiency.32 And, ultimately, the only way to do this is to actively restore the health of these systems—to regenerate them. Here are five early actions Europe needs to take:
- Make regeneration a central, stated objective: This will require harder-edged policy instruments, including clearly stated and effectively enforced national and regional carbon budgets. It also demands a massive, sustained investment in education and reskilling. So, starting at home, how can the EU move beyond decarbonization to create tomorrow’s regenerative economies? How can it actively decolonize the future, with its lifestyle-related footprints unduly constraining the choices of future generations? And how can the three-dimensional mindset of responsibility, resilience, and regeneration be infused into Europe’s foreign policy, aid programs, and security systems?
- Prioritize multilateral solutions: As the pressure to act on the climate emergency intensifies, the likelihood of solutions like carbon border taxes triggering trade disputes will only grow. But at a time when solutions at the level of the Word Trade Organization seem improbable, the need for clusters of countries to act in concert is increasingly clear. Europe has considerable potential leverage, economically and politically. But this needs to be carefully managed if trade disputes are not to devolve into intensifying public calls for protectionism. Achieving a climate version of the Bretton Woods agreement may seem impossible today, but then so did that 1944 outcome even a few days before the final deal was signed.
- Work at all levels of government to shrink “Green Premiums.” Effective government action is now make-or-break, with business leaders lobbying for action. Bill Gates, for example, notes the urgent need to drive down “Green Premiums”—the additional costs of choosing a cleaner technology—payable on climate-friendly solutions of all sorts.33 He concludes that (1) governments can use policies to either make the carbon-based version of something more expensive, make the clean version cheaper, or, ideally, both; (2) companies and investors can commit to buying and using cleaner alternatives (such as through the RE100 initiative for renewable electricity), investing in research and development, supporting clean-energy entrepreneurs and start-ups, and advocating for helpful government policies; and (3) individuals can help create markets for better, cleaner alternatives. These efforts, he argues, “will drive investment in research, which helps decrease the price and ultimately makes clean products more affordable and available for everyone.”
- Prioritize the ecological emergency alongside the climate one: There is no way to stabilize the climate without restoring natural systems at a global scale. So how can the EU help regenerate biodiversity, ecosystems, and economies? What instruments can the EU use in this endeavor, from treasury to private finance and from military partnerships to civil society? And, perhaps controversially at a time of growing superpower tensions, the EU could more deeply engage with China on its vision of an ecological civilization for mutual benefit.34
- Deliver local environmental quality improvements alongside global ones: At a time when the links between air quality and health, including mental health, are increasingly, painfully obvious, every effort must be made to ensure European citizens experience early, discernible improvements in their local environments as the region works to improve the global situation. People may like to believe that they are all in this together, but continuing—and increasingly mainstreaming—political support and investment will depend on a palpable sense that there are real returns on the short-term sacrifices individual countries make.
John Elkington is the founder and chief pollinator of Volans and has helped create and incubate movements including the B Team, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, the Global Reporting Initiative, and B Lab UK. He has addressed over 1,000 conferences globally, has served on over seventy boards and advisory boards, and is the author or co-author of twenty books, including Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism (Fast Company Press, 2020).
Thammy Evans has worked in environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, and climate insecurity; holds a master’s in political science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva; and has worked much of the past twenty years in the field of security and defense sector reform and governance. She draws extensively on the intersectionality of gender, climate, security, regenerative systems dynamics, and cooperation theory. She is a senior fellow at the GeoTech Center of the Atlantic Council.
1 Forbes, Twitter post, February 20, 2021, 1:15 p.m., https://twitter.com/forbes/status/1363296127295119363.
2 Kate Raworth, “A Healthy Economy Should Be Designed to Thrive, Not Grow,” TED2018 April 2018, https://www.ted.com/talks/kate_raworth_a_healthy_economy_should_be_designed_to_thrive_not_ grow.
3 Christiania Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, The Future We Choose: A Stubborn Optimist’s Guide to the Climate Crisis (New York: Vintage Books, 2020): see Action 9 Building Gender Equality.
4 A regenerative economy progressively rebuilds economic, social, environmental, and political systems in an integrated way. For more information, see https://capitalinstitute.org and, starting in the fall of 2021, https://www.regenerators.org.
5 Greater Pacific, “The Quadrilateral Power Blocs Shaping the World: Will Democracy Prevail?,” Greater Pacific Capital, December 2020, https://www.greaterpacificcapital.com/thought-leadership/the-quadrilateral-power-blocs-shaping-the-world-will-democracy-prevail.
6 Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (London: Penguin Random House, 2008).
7 John Elkington, Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism (Austin, TX: Fast Company Press, 2020).
8 Capital Institute, “8 Principles of a Regenerative Economy,” Capital Institute, https://capitalinstitute.org/8-principles-regenerative-economy.
9 Note that some circular economy formulations already include regeneration as a goal.
10 For more on the employment impact of emerging technologies, see the work of RethinkX on transportation, cattle ranching and dairying, and energy; see https://www.rethinkx.com.
11 Anjli Raval, “Royal Dutch Shell Searches for a Purpose Beyond Oil,” Financial Times, September 26, 2019, https://www.ft.com/content/45a9b82e-df73-11e9-9743-db5a370481bc.
12 Leslie Hook and Henry Sanderson, “The New Green Order,” FT Weekend Magazine, February 6–7, 2021.
13 International Energy Agency, “World Energy Outlook, 2020: Part of World Energy Outlook,” October 2020, https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-outlook-2020.
14 Abrahm Lustgarten, “How Russia Wins the Climate Crisis,” New York Times Magazine, December 16, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/12/16/magazine/russia-climate-migration-crisis.html.
15 Rajit Nanda and Dan Shugar, “Solar Energy Set to Power GCC Green Recovery, Decarbonisation Strategy,” Gulf Business, February 7, 2021, https://gulfbusiness.com/solar-energy-set-to-power-gcc-green-recovery-decarbonisation-strategy/.
16 International Energy Agency, “Global Energy Review 2021: Renewables,” https://www.iea.org/reports/global-energy-review-2021/renewables.
17 “Dans les Landes, pour faire du solaire, on détruit les forêts” [In the Landes, to make solar, we destroy forests], Le Reporterre, January 20, 2021: https://reporterre.net/Dans-les-Landes-pour-faire-du-solaire-on-detruit-les-forets.
18 Roman Krznaric, The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long Term in a Short-Term World (London: Ebury Publishing, 2020).
19 Julie Michelle Klinger, Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terrestrial Subsoils to Lunar Landscapes (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017).
20 United Nations Population Division, “World Population Prospects 2019,” https://population.un.org/wpp/Graphs/Probabilistic/POP/TOT/908; and Sherri Goodman et al., “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change,” CNA Corporation, https://www.cna.org/cna_files/pdf/National%20Security%20and%20the%20Threat%20of%20Climate%20Change.pdf.
21 Angela Oels, “From ‘Securitization’ of Climate Change to ‘Climatization’ of the Security Field: Comparing Three Theoretical Perspectives,” in J. Scheffran, M. Brzoska, H. Brauch, P. Link, J. Schilling (eds), Climate Change, Human Security and Violent Conflict. Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer 2012), 185–205.
22 John Elkington, “Military for Sustainability,” in 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next 40 Years, ed. Jorgen Randers (Hartford, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012).
23 John Fullerton, “Regenerative Capitalism: How Universal Principles and Patterns Will Shape Our New Economy,” Capital Institute, April 2015, https://capitalinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/2015ExecSummary4-14-15.pdf.
24 It might not be too late to make more of the upcoming EU Forest Strategy to provide regenerative benefits like increased biodiversity and pollination services.
25 Margriet Kuijper, “Carbon Takeback Obligation: A Producers Responsibility Scheme on the Way to a Climate Neutral Energy System,” De Gemeynt, January 2021, https://gemeynt.nl/bericht/carbon-takeback-obligation-a-producers-responsibility-scheme-on-the-way-to-a-climate-neutral-energy-system.
26 Mariana Mazzucato, The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy (London: Penguin Random House UK, 2018); and Mariana Mazzucato, Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism (London: Penguin Random House UK, 2021); and Kate Raworth, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist (London: Penguin Random House UK, 2017).
28 Carol Sanford, “The Regenerative Education System and Practice—Part 1,” Medium, July 21, 2020, https://carolsanford.medium.com/the-regenerative-education-system-and-practice-part-1-23ffcc86326e.
29 Mary Robinson, “Climate Leadership: Why the Biden Era Will Be Defined by the Climate Challenge,” Finding Humanity (podcast), January 28, 2021, https://findinghumanitypodcast.com/episodes#elders-series; Robinson summarizes five layers of climate injustice through disproportionate impact on the poor, gender, intergenerationally, differing development paths, and nature.
30 Dinah Shelton, “Nature as a Legal Person,” Vertigo 22 (2015). In 2008, Ecuador was the first country to accord nature legal personality in its constitution; seventeen countries now accord legal personality to nature.
31 No continent has covered itself in glory when it comes to accurately predicting and managing the unintended consequences of change. The United States, for example, did not exactly abandon the race when it dropped its long-running Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), but there was an echoing hole where the OTA had been.
32 Roger Martin, “The High Price of Efficiency,” Harvard Business Review Magazine, January–February, 2019, https://hbr.org/2019/01/the-high-price-of-efficiency.
33 Bill Gates, “Introducing the Green Premiums,” Gates Notes, September 29, 2020, https://www.gatesnotes.com/Energy/Introducing-the-Green-Premiums; and Bill Gates, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need (London: Allen Lane, 2021).
34 Balakrishna Pisupati, “Ecological Civilisation and the New Global Biodiversity Framework,” Mongabay, April 6, 2020, https://india.mongabay.com/2020/04/commentary-ecological-civilisation-and-the-new-global-biodiversity-framework; and Berthold Kuhn, “Ecological Civilisation in China,” Dialogue of Civilisations Research Institute, August 26, 2019, https://doc-research.org/2019/08/ecological-civilisation-china-berthold.