IGP Stories

Forget GDP growth, it’s sustainable wellbeing we need to aim for

Climate Emergency

Robert Costanza

22 May 2023

An EU conference on sustainable wellbeing provided a real vision for a future that’s fairer for all.

I’ve just been to a three-day conference on sustainable prosperity in Europe, attended by thousands of people.

In a stirring opening address, the speaker said governments must stop misusing GDP growth as their goal and move swiftly and urgently to sustainable wellbeing within planetary boundaries. They got a standing ovation.

The young leader of a climate and social justice movement concluded the event with a call to join the “movement of movements”, to create a new economy based on sustainable prosperity, justice and sufficiency. Everyone rose to their feet to show their solidarity.

This is not the start of a utopian novel set in an alternative universe.

This was a real event: the Beyond Growth conference held at the European Parliament last week. Sponsored by the European Commission and the Club of Rome, it attracted more than 2,500 participants (with another 2,000 online).

I believe it marks a tipping point in thinking and governance in response to the convergence of crises facing humanity today.

IGP's Professor Robert Costanza writes for Open Democracy, read the full article on their website

Photo by name_ gravity on Unsplash

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