Living within the safe operating space: a vision for a resource efficient Europe

O'Brien, Meghan and Hartwig, Franziska and Schanes, Karin and Kammerlander, Moritz and Omann, Ines and Wilts, Henning and Bleischwitz, Raimund and Jäger, Jill (2014) Living within the safe operating space: a vision for a resource efficient Europe. European Journal of Futures Research, 2 (48). pp. 1-11. ISSN 2195-2248

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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A desirable future critically depends on our ability to ensure the supply of key resources while simultaneously respecting planetary boundaries. This paper looks at the potential implications of living within the "safe operating space" for people, business and the economy. It develops a positive vision of the future based on three pillars: a safe and fair use of global resources, a sustainable society, and a transformed economy.We review and build on recent sustainability visions to develop a holistic reflection on what life in 2050 could look like, and explore the key changes in the economy needed to get there. In particular we show that resource efficiency requires a systemic shift in values, innovation, governance and management regimes. We present a bold vision for Europe underlined by indicators and targets, explore transition challenges to getting there and conclude with a list of key policies needed for overcoming challenges and reaching the vision. (authors' abstract)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article draws on research performed during the EU-supported research project "Policy Options for a Resource Efficient Economy" (Project no: 308371). The authors would like to thank our colleagues from that project as well as Stefan Bringezu and Arkaitz Usubiaga (both from Wuppertal Institute) for their comments and support in the preparation of this article.
Keywords: resource efficiency / visions / sustainable development pathways / green and inclusive economy / policies / eco-innovation
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Ecological Economics
Version of the Document: Published
Variance from Published Version: None
Depositing User: Elena Simukovic
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2016 16:23
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2020 15:46
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