Standing up for a Sustainable World


Standing up for a Sustainable World

Voices of Change

9781800371774 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Claude Henry, Professor of Sustainable Development, Sciences Po, France, Johan Rockström, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); Professor in Earth System Science, University of Potsdam, Germany and Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government and Chair, Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics, UK
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 80037 177 4 Extent: 496 pp
The world has witnessed extraordinary economic growth, poverty reduction and increased life expectancy and population since the end of WWII, but it has occurred at the expense of undermining life support systems on Earth and subjecting future generations to the real risk of destabilising the planet. This timely book exposes and explores this colossal environmental cost and the dangerous position the world is now in. Standing up for a Sustainable World is written by and about key individuals who have not only understood the threats to our planet, but also become witness to them and confronted them.

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The world has witnessed extraordinary economic growth, poverty reduction and increased life expectancy and population since the end of WWII, but it has occurred at the expense of undermining life support systems on Earth and subjecting future generations to the real risk of destabilising the planet. This timely book exposes and explores this colossal environmental cost and the dangerous position the world is now in. Standing up for a Sustainable World is written by and about key individuals who have not only understood the threats to our planet, but also become witness to them and confronted them.

Combining the voices of leading academics as well as climate change and environmental activists, entrepreneurs and investors, the book highlights the urgent action that needs to be taken to foster sustainable, resilient and inclusive development in the face of powerful systemic forces. Chapters look ahead to a better path for human wellbeing, security and dignity, offering insight to ways this can be created. The book as a whole shares the visions and hopes of those fighting in a myriad of ways to make a sustainable world, attempting to tip the balance away from the crushing loss of biodiversity, rising sea levels and increasing global mean temperature, whilst increasing living standards across all dimensions, particularly for the poorest people.

An imperative read for those concerned about the future of our planet, this book showcases not only why urgent action is now imperative, but also what changes are necessary for a sustainable, resilient and equitable world. It offers crucial insights for those interested in the dynamics of political action, in how change occurs, and in effective communication. Environmental economics, as well as environmental studies and human geography students and scholars more broadly will find this an invigorating read.

Critical Acclaim
‘The text is frequently passionate, but never shrill. The breadth of coverage is impressive both topically and geographically. The science is accurately depicted, and tales are realistically explained. This unusually well-written book is available directly from the publisher via open access.’
– R E O'Connor, CHOICE

‘This is the first major attempt at conveying to the world, both the need for urgent action to curb climate change, and the multiple channels that can be activated to achieve that goal. Leading academics, environmental activists, entrepreneurs and investors have been asked to lay out ideas on how to make economic development more sustainable and more inclusive. This book is a must-read for all economists and more broadly anyone interested about making the world a better place.’
– Philippe Aghion, College de France, and London School of Economics, UK

‘Standing Up for a Sustainable World underscores the inexorable link between social justice and environmental justice. While people living in extreme poverty are the least responsible for climate change and environmental damage, they are undoubtedly the most impacted by its consequences. Therefore, it is urgent and essential to strengthen the resilience to climate change of people living in poverty, but only through social and economic change that leaves no-one behind, and which actively involves them in making decisions that affect their lives.’
– Donald Lee, President of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, UK and previously at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, US

‘We are confronted with loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services globally at unprecedented level. This could be attributed to a number of factors: climate change, deforestation, land use change for agricultural expansion, economic imbalance due to unfair trading practises. If we do not take urgent and immediate actions to address these issues, we might suffer irreversible changes affecting the future of our planet and the fate of future generations. This book provides expert opinion and forward looking thoughts to current global challenges. The book links science with policy in ways that will prompt policy makers into actions. Hence, I wholeheartedly recommend the book to be read by all interested in nature’s health and sustainable benefits.’
– Sebsebe Demissew, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, (foreign) Member of the Royal Society, UK and Co-Chair (2013-8) of the IPBES Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, Germany

‘It is easy to say, as is frequently repeated, that the future of humanity on earth is at risk. The difficult challenge is to understand the empirical basis of that terrible fear, and also to assess, with best professional scrutiny, what we can do to resist the environmental catastrophe. It is wonderful that we can turn to this wide-ranging study for guidance on each.’
– Amartya Sen, Harvard University, US

‘Reading Standing up for a Sustainable World is essential to understand our times. Claude Henry, Johan Rockström and Nicholas Stern, three internationally renowned academics, have collected the voices of those – activists, entrepreneurs, academics – who are taking action to build a more resilient world. We should learn from them in order to change our economic and social model, reduce inequalities and lay the foundations for a better future.’
– Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France

'We are clearly at a fork in the road in the quest to ensure that our children and grandchildren have a liveable planet. This unique book goes well beyond the endless projections, scenarios and storylines that promise a sustainable future but never really deliver. Instead, this book goes to “ground zero” and explores the mushrooming number of new and exciting approaches already being implemented – revolutionary energy technologies, innovative legal tactics, novel communication tools, community stands against ecological destruction, and many more. Each one on its own can’t solve the immense, urgent challenges that face humanity in our quest for long-term sustainability, but together they can move us towards the social tipping point that can deliver the future we want at the scale and in the time period that we need.’
– Will Steffen, Australian National University, and former executive director of the International Geoscience-Bioscience Programme

‘There is so much doom and gloom about the state of the environment due to our greedy plundering of the planet’s finite natural resources that many people are losing hope. Therefore Standing up for a Sustainable World: Voices of Change comes not a moment too soon: it showcases projects from around the world that illustrate what can be done to turn things around before it is too late. Projects that will provide jobs and improve things for people, animals, and the environment. It is a book everyone who cares about our future should read.’
– Jane Goodall DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace

Contributors: M. Araya, A.A. Berhe, M. Berry, A. Bizien, D. Bureau, C. Bustos, B. Chan, S. Clayton, P. Cury, A. De Wever, A. Depoux, E. Deville, M. do Socorro Costa Silva, L. Dubois, C. Dyvik, B. Erkutlu, G. Eslava-Bejarano, F. Gemenne, A. Grandjean, E. Guerin, T. Günal, S. Handford, G. Heal, S.B. Heintz, C. Henry, A.C. Hill, J. Jouzel, M. Jun, A. Lefébure, R. Maeder, E. Maibach, M.E. Mann, W. McKibben, M. Minnesma, D.R. Montgomery, P. Moore, H.F. Nakabuye, L. Neubauer, S. Nirere, D. Noonan, A.T. Oladosu, P. Omido, J. Oppenheim, R. Pandey, D. Pauly, Y. Qi, P. Ranci, J. Rockström, V. Rozo-Ángel, G. Şahin, M. Sharp, N. Smith, N. Stern, T. Sterner, C. Taylor, T. Te Whenua, M. Toussaint, S. Treyer, L. Tubiana, K. van der Heyden, J. Watts, E. Woodward, X. Zhao


Preface: a collective book project – the last chance? Voluntary
actors in an ecological and economic transition xxiii

1 Science, society and a sustainable future 3
Johan Rockström and Nicholas Stern
2 Conservation psychology and climate change 10
Susan Clayton
3 Capitalism and the curse of external effects 24
Claude Henry

4 Costa Rica as pioneer of a green social contract 48
Monica Araya
5 The carbon tax in Sweden 59
Thomas Sterner
6 Lessons from the Obama White House: how climate policy
really gets done 68
Alice C. Hill
7 Climate policy in China: an overview 76
Ye Qi, Xiaofan Zhao and Nicholas Stern
8 The Paris Agreement on climate change: what legacy? 103
Laurence Tubiana and Emmanuel Guerin

9 Introduction to Part II 117
Jonathan Watts
10 To protect the Amazon, defend the people of the forest 125
Maria do Socorro Costa Silva
11 Of chainsaws and grace: direct action by eco-vigilantes in
the Philippines 128
Bobby Chan
12 Social justice goes hand in hand with environmental
campaigns – and not just in Africa 131
Phyllis Omido
13 Living our values: using art and technology to campaign
for nature in Turkey 134
Birhan Erkutlu and Tuğba Günal

14 Introduction to Part III 137
Marie Toussaint and Claude Henry
15 The Urgenda case in the Netherlands: creating a revolution
through the courts 140
Marjan Minnesma
16 Juliana v. United States and the global youth-led legal
campaign for a safe climate 151
Patti Moore, Danny Noonan and Erik Woodward
17 How policymakers imperil coming generations’ future and
what to do about it 158
Ridhima Pandey
18 Protecting the rights of future generations through climate
litigation: lessons from the struggle against deforestation in
the Colombian Amazon 163
Camila Bustos, Valentina Rozo-Ángel and Gabriela Eslava-Bejarano
19 People’s Climate Case – families and youth take the EU to
court over its failure to address the climate crisis 171E. Deville, L. Dubois
Gökşen Şahin
20 Climate change claim on behalf of New Zealand’s
indigenous Māori peoples 178
Michael Sharp, Nicole Smith and Tania Te Whenua
21 France: L’Affaire du Siècle : the story of a mass
mobilization for climate 185
Marie Toussaint

22 Introduction to Part IV 194
Claude Henry
23 Fridays For Future – FFF Europe and beyond 196
Anuna De Wever, Luisa Neubauer and Katrien van der Heyden
24 The Fridays For Future Movement in Uganda and Nigeria 211
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, Sadrach Nirere and Adenike Titilope Oladosu
25 The origins of School Strike 4 Climate NZ 218
Sophie Handford and Raven Maeder
26 350.org 231
William “Bill” McKibben
27 How to become an engineer in the ecological crisis? 234
Antoine Bizien, Elsa Deville and Lucas Dubois
28 Ecological aspirations of youth: how higher education
could fall between two stools 238
Alessia Lefébure

29 Introduction to Part V 247
Nicholas Stern and Charlotte Taylor
30 Catching mighty North Sea winds 251
Claude Henry
31 Providing electricity from rice husk in rural India 254
Claude Henry
32 Heat pumps for decarbonizing buildings 256
Dominique Bureau
33 The rise of supercapacitors: making electric vehicles as
convenient as ordinary ones 261
Claude Henry
34 From scooter to boat: innovations in electric transport in
cities of Southeast Asia 264
Pippo Ranci
35 The third attempt at the electric car might be the successful one 271
Geoffrey Heal
36 Solar cookstoves for adaptation to degrading natural conditions 274
Claude Henry
37 Carbon capture from ambient air: a brake on climate change? 278
Claude Henry
38 Ecological engineering in coastal protection 283
Claude Henry
39 Better to corrupt plastics than the environment 286
Pippo Ranci
40 Drip irrigation: Daniel Hillel’s legacy 291
Claude Henry
41 Making the case for agroecological innovation: the need
for technical but also political entrepreneurs 294
Sébastien Treyer
42 Radical transformation in global supply chains: can new
business models be based on biodiversity in the agrifood
industry? 297
Sébastien Treyer
43 Ethan Brown – the protein revolutionary 301
Geoffrey Heal
44 How to make a sustainable living in a tropical forest: the
case of Suruí Indians in the Amazon rainforest – success
under threat 304
Claude Henry
45 Migrants to repopulate depopulated villages – Riace in
Calabria, Italy and its mayor Mimmo Lucano 307
Pippo Ranci
46 How Loos-en-Gohelle, a derelict mining town in the north
of France, has become a standard in sustainable development 312
Michel Berry

47 Introduction to Part VI 321
Nicholas Stern and Charlotte Taylor
48 Unleashing the power of financial markets for the green transition 325
Jeremy Oppenheim and Catharina Dyvik
49 The case for fossil fuel divestment 339
Stephen B. Heintz
50 How can finance be used to combat climate change? 349
Alain Grandjean
51 China’s pioneering green finance 358
Ma Jun

52 Introduction to Part VII 368
Johan Rockström
53 Communicating climate change science to diverse audiences 374
Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
54 Global marine fisheries: avoiding further collapses 382
Philippe Cury and Daniel Pauly
55 Why are we so much more afraid of COVID-19 than of
climate change? Early lessons from a health crisis for the
communication of climate change 394
François Gemenne and Anneliese Depoux
56 Communicating the climate emergency: imagination,
emotion, action 399
Genevieve Guenther
57 Climate change: from research to communication 407
Jean Jouzel
58 Communicating biodiversity loss and its link to economics 412
Georgina M. Mace
59 Helping trusted messengers find their voice on climate change 424
Edward Maibach
60 From climate scientist to climate communicator: a process
of evolution 431
Michael E. Mann
61 Communicating science beyond the ivory tower 436
David R. Montgomery

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