Demand for energy and resources has been growing as a result of population growth and increased consumption to the point where all the scientific evidence shows we are bumping up against fundamental planetary boundaries on which our civilizations depend.
In the perspective Towards a sustainable future: transformative change and post-COVID-19 priorities, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) summarises this evidence with a focus on climate and biodiversity, describing what many international scientists have been thinking since the 1970s – that current unsustainable trajectories are built into our economic theories and our political reward systems. These fundamentals need to be reset so that long-term sustainability is built into our decision-making at all levels.
“Scientific knowledge of climate change and its drivers has been growing exponentially during the past decades, yet the degradation of nature and continued growth in greenhouse gas emissions has yet to even cease let alone start reversing. We have to ask if just trying to adjust ‘business as usual’ can safeguard our future on this planet” says Prof. Michael Norton, EASAC’s Environment Programme Director.
EASAC is formed by the national science academies of the EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland, to collaborate in giving advice to European policy-makers. EASAC provides a means for the collective voice of European science to be heard. Through EASAC, the academies work together to provide independent, expert, evidence-based advice about the scientific aspects of European policies to those who make or influence policy within the European institutions.