• Dr. Matjaž Knez


Recently, in one of the foreign media, I read an article by author Cooper Simon, who writes about “The myth of green, economic growth”. He says that "green" growth is probably not possible, at least for the next few decades, which he confirms with some very interesting data/facts that make one think.

We need to halve emissions by 2030, if we still want to reduce the global atmospheric temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, bearing in mind that the record has been the warmest in the last decade. Temperatures are rising and so is the population. Globally, average per capita income is up 2 % annually. And when people have more money, they spend it, in an environmentally unacceptable way, so they pollute.

Overall, investments in clean energy projects have fallen to their lowest levels in the last six years. The European Union claims to have demarcated economic growth from CO2 emissions, which have been declining for several years, without saying how much industry we have moved from the EU to Asia and elsewhere and not adding this "carbon index" to the European carbon balance.

The move to a greener society, that uses more environmentally friendly and green technologies, will unfortunately not happen so quickly. The technologies we use today and are still selling will continue to be used for some time, at least a decade or two. For example, airplanes and container ships, both make a big contribution to pollution, will still be used in 2040, when most people will still live in the same homes, classic homes as they are today and the use of vehicle type will remain the same. Cooper explains that even electric vehicles are unlikely to save the world, even if left to the full life cycle of an electric van, they are not so much more environmentally friendly than conventional vehicles.

As a society we are always going to be energy efficient. Planes, ships and cars consume less fuel per kilometre. And as William Jevons, an English economist, logician and statistician said in 1865, when technology and energy become cheaper, it happens that they are consumed even more. Just one example, in the world today, four out of five people want to fly a plane. And sooner or later, they will.

So ... just some of Cooper's facts that clearly illustrate the paradoxical world we live in, which probably indicates that economic growth and green growth will not be possible at the same time. So what's left for us?

- Do we wait for the policies that come together each year (this year in Madrid) to argue and agree on climate policy and a timetable for action, which is increasingly extended and has no impact on the desired outcome - a green, sustainable, sustainable society?

- Do we activate ourselves, become active citizens and, by our own example, begin to draw attention and show that we can live and act in a sustainable, more environmentally and socially friendly way?

- Do we join our children, who have realized, where things are going and are trying to tell us that the way and the example (s) we are trying to impose are not the best. We may not hear them and the street is the last thing left to them, as a lifeline, to cry aloud for help and warn that they no longer want it.

- Or do we simply give up?

The answer is on us - TO DECIDE, because, as Cooper says, it is not only politicians and corporations who are to blame for the situation.


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