I’ve been in the world of sustainability for a very long time, so I'm familiar with the special moments of intensity that come along from time to time. And the Referendum on our future in Europe is certainly one of those!
Two Questions on Europe
The purpose of the EU in the 21st Century is to provide genuinely sustainable livelihoods for its half billion citizens, whilst helping to build a peaceful, progressive world where all may flourish within the finite planetary boundaries that sustain us.
My vision of a good Europe rests on the following six insights:
1. Europe will need to be a net zero emissions economy by 2030, and carbon positive by 2040. The sole source of emissions by then will be a declining trajectory for both aviation and shipping.
2. Europe will need to produce 90% of the food it needs by 2030, and fundamentally rebalance ‘the average diet’ to address both food security challenges and chronic health problems associated with contemporary unsustainable lifestyles.
3. Europe will need to protect its borders against an otherwise unstoppable flow of refugees from Africa and the Middle East, and will simultaneously need to invest between 2% and 5% of its combined GDP in Africa and the Middle East to help provide in situ solutions.
4. All European institutions (with the European Parliament primus inter pares) will need to be completely transparent in all their workings, and will be uncompromisingly internationalist in looking out at the world, and uncompromisingly decentralist looking in on itself.
5. The freedom to travel and work anywhere in the EU will be fiercely protected, subject only to the need to maintain a genuinely fair and equitable economy in each and every member state. Governments will have the right to collect taxes on all revenues generated within their own borders.
6. There will be no super-rich and there will be no chronically poor in the EU of the 21st Century. Young people will be nurtured and protected within cohesive communities and within the embrace of the natural world.