De-growth and CSOs 26th of March 2010 Leida Rijnhout ANPED Executive Director [email_address]
SD: What went wrong ? <ul><li>Goal of SD movement is to achieve sustainability, social and environmental justice and equity worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>BUT: How do CSOs integrate SD in their activities ? </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately more or less the same at governments and business did -> too much focus on eco-efficiency only </li></ul><ul><li>and not questioning the main roots of environmental degradation and social injustice. </li></ul><ul><li>They do not ask for paradigm shift, but keep on promoting a kind of green capitalism and consumerism development </li></ul>
‘ Contraction and Convergence’ Environmental Space Developing countries Industrial countries Former Eastern European countries Level of welfare Use of natural resources pp Ceiling (= overconsumption) Floor (= dignity life line ) Based on Rochol
Why not use this model? <ul><li>Within the mainstream CSOs, trade unions, .. </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers and think tanks were the first to initiate the degrowth debate </li></ul><ul><li>Degrowth debate is very new for most CSOs </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance of word and strategy, because of “negative message” </li></ul><ul><li>Most CSOs are getting part of (official) stakeholders dialogues, and that position often makes them less critical (cooptation) </li></ul>Collective denial !! :
CSO have to take the lead! <ul><li>.. because it is our responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>If we deny reality the problems will increase, as well the measures to take </li></ul><ul><li>Leads to more drastic decisions (‘war economy’) </li></ul><ul><li>Threat for democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Social dramas – for most the vulnerable groups </li></ul>
The future (1) <ul><li>Sense of urgency: For ANPED and other networks it is very important to push forward the agenda of “sufficiency”, “contraction and convergence” and “degrowth”. </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulate mainstream CSOs to do the same: stress their obligation and “reason to be” to be more radical in their views - not only duplicate governmental policies on eco-efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Be realistic ! Not utopian by thinking that the planet will grow together with our economic growth obsession </li></ul>
The future (2) <ul><li>Future scenarios: based on what is possible (availability of natural resources, absorption capacity of the Earth) and not on what we “desire”:, status quo on many things, more jobs, more economic growth, more material wealth, ... </li></ul><ul><li>We need to think more in terms of transition, well being, carrying capacity, justice, long term strategies, coherence, .. </li></ul>
New paths to take (1) <ul><li>A lot of small initiatives are taken, inspired by scientists, and the books they wrote. But still isolated from mainstream CSOs. </li></ul><ul><li>The first degrowth conference in Paris was huge success. Barcelona will be as well.. :-) </li></ul><ul><li>ANPED-network (on SD) is involved in those dynamics, and will continue working in this framework. It fits in the capital approach of SD and the so called “strong sustainability” </li></ul>
New paths to take (2) <ul><li>In Holland scientists and small organizations started a platform on a fair and green economy, which after three years is gaining space. Slow but positive process. </li></ul><ul><li>In many other countries we see same things happening, like “Growth in Transition” conference in Vienna </li></ul><ul><li>In an official meeting, a UNEP-director proposed to start to talk about the “D”-word. </li></ul><ul><li>To find allies with other networks with the same goals, although they don’t use the word “degrowth” : Monday sessions !! </li></ul>
THANK YOU ! gràcies, gracias, ezkerrik asko, bedankt, merci, danke, .. Leida Rijnhout [email_address] .org www. anped .org
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