Let us first take a glance at what economies need to accomplish, in concrete terms. They need to transform the ways in which energy, transport, food, and housing are produced and consumed (O’Neill et al. 2018). The result should be production and consumption that provides decent opportunities for a good life while dramatically reducing the burden on natural ecosystems. In terms of greenhouse gases, global net emissions should be zero around 2050 – in Europe and the US by around 2040. (Rockström et al. 2017)
Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism’s Imminent Demise
A climate change-fueled switch away from fossil fuels means the worldwide economy will fundamentally need to change.
Capitalism as we know it is over. So suggests a new report commissioned by a group of scientists appointed by the UN Secretary-General. The main reason? We’re transitioning rapidly to a radically different global economy, due to our increasingly unsustainable exploitation of the planet’s environmental resources.
Climate change and species extinctions are accelerating even as societies are experiencing rising inequality, unemployment, slow economic growth, rising debt levels, and impotent governments. Contrary to the way policymakers usually think about these problems, the new report says that these are not really separate crises at all.
Rather, these crises are part of the same fundamental transition to a new era characterized by inefficient fossil fuel production and the escalating costs of climate change. Conventional capitalist economic thinking can no longer explain, predict, or solve the workings of the global economy in this new age, the paper says.