Transformative changes urged to ensure sustainability after pandemic – EASAC reports

As the efficacy of the first coronavirus vaccines has been proven and mass vaccinations are scheduled to start in the near future, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are now justified in hoping that our lives will go back to normal within the foreseeable future. However, what we consider as “normal” is not good in the long run in every respect. The European Academies Science Advisory Council’s (EASAC) recent report urges transformative changes to secure a sustainable future.

2021. január 4.

“Scientific knowledge of climate change and its drivers has been growing exponentially during the past decades, yet the degradation of nature and continued growth in greenhouse gas emissions has yet to even cease, let alone start to reverse. We have to ask if just trying to adjust to ‘business as usual’ can safeguard our future on this planet,” Prof. Michael Norton, EASAC’s Environment Programme Director, asked.

This rhetorical question includes the answer, which is also pointed out by the authors (primarily the scholars of the German National Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina) of the latest EASAC report, which indicates that it will not be at all enough to adjust back to ‘business as usual’. The report emphasises that fundamental changes are required; the word transformative appears on almost every page of the document. The situation is grave, and the measures taken up to now have not fulfilled the hopes, as the authors explicitly declare: “Starting with the lack of progress towards the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and worsening trends in climate change and biodiversity loss, questions have been raised over whether current trends may present humanity with existential threats over coming decades.”

The full EASAC Report is available here.