It would take a planet twice the size of Earth to provide the same standard of living currently enjoyed in the West, by 20 % of the world’s population, to everybody on the planet. But even our current consumption of natural resources has caused climate change, ever expanding deserts, dried up rivers, erosion on an unprecedented scale and repeated, devastating floods.
The services of nature – essential for man’s survival – are being damaged by our everyday economic processes. For the past 15 years, Professor Schmidt-Bleek has demanded a dematerialization of our economies by a factor of 10. This is technically possible, without a reduction in our standard of living. However, a significant adjustment of the economic framework is required. Only then can there be hope for global sustainable development.
Friedrich Schmidt-Bleek was an influential leader of the Institute of Climate, Environment and Energy in Wuppertal and was awarded the prestigious World Environment Award in Japan in 2001. Today he heads the Factor 10 Institute in Carnoules, France.