Cities and countries are declaring a climate emergency. But what should they do next? Here’s the perfect answer.
The carbon footprint is included in the ecological footprint – which covers everything that is produced and consumed and the ability of nature to support us.
Now the scale of the problem facing us is huge: to reduce the impacts of all of a typical UK or other developed city’s activities by two thirds (from the present 3 planets eco-footprint (incl. carbon & nature) to one planet).
So measures like those done in the past, while certainly necessary, will not reach the deeper system changes demanded by XR that would be sufficient. A step change is required!
The ‘one planet’ approach is about tackling all spending (and ultimately planning) decisions and moving towards a local circular economy). It means you can capture many benefits not reached by a piecemeal approach.
Targets focus minds. So setting a target of getting to ‘one planet’ in, say, 10 or 20 years is a way to get everyone thinking along the same lines.
It’s also easy to communicate to everyone; an ‘umbrella’ rallying cry to generate enthusiasm; and it’s possible to check progress on the target.
In Wales, it’s doing no more than is required by the Well-Being of Future Generations Act (since eco-footprint is an indicator & spending only for the care of future generations is its purpose).
For these reasons, adopting an exciting ‘one planet city’ target as part of a city’s response to declaring a climate emergency sends out all the right signals and leaves nothing out.
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