A Vision for a Resource Efficient Europe
With the exception of some positive and remarkable achievements of sustainability transitions, mainly on the local and regional level, special attention to natural resources and unsustainable lifestyles has yet to be given in a coordinated, comprehensive and structured way.
A desirable future critically depends on our ability to ensure the supply of key resources while simultaneously respecting planetary boundaries. Humanity’s ecological footprint has significantly increased since 1992. But what would living in the “safe operating space” mean for people, business and the economy? One positive vision of the future could be based on three pillars: a safe and fair use of global resources, a sustainable society, and a transformed economy. Reviewing and building on recent sustainability visions, the paper “Living within the safe operating space: a vision for a resource efficient Europe” in the European Journal of Futures Research, develops a holistic reflection of what life in 2050 could look like and explores the key changes in the economy needed to get there. This vision is not an instrument to develop measurable goals, but a more strategic process to bundle expectations, to overcome short-term thinking and to define common interests in fundamental change.