Humans are making Earth unliveable with assaults on climate, topsoil, fisheries, biodiversity and other ecological systems, says Simon Zadek, a senior fellow at the Global Green Growth Institute in Seoul.
Speaking at a panel discussion on the green economy at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) in November, Zadek said that the world is on track to overshoot the climate safety threshold of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration levels, making it perfectly aligned to a five to six degree increase in average global temperatures. “Two degrees is safe – maybe,” said Zadek, an economist, activist and advisor to the International Institute of Sustainable Development.
The reason for this assault on the planet’s social and natural capital is simple – the traditional model of economic growth has been built on an assumption of open-ended, unlimited resource availability.
Unlocking a green economy