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Barcelona Declaration 2008: Challenges and Pathways to Earth Sustainability
Date:10/7/2008

experts on global change, who met in Barcelona under the auspices of the Center for Ecological and Forestry Research (CREAF), call for a Scientific and Technological Revolution to enable pathways of development consistent with global sustainability. The following actions are urged:

  • Immediate transition to non-carbon emitting energy systems.
  • Accounting for changes in natural capital in measures of economic performance.
  • Immediately begin adaptive measures to address global environmental change.
  • Empowering Developing Countries to play a larger role in global solutions.

Transition to non-carbon emitting energy systems must be immediate. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the most important human induced greenhouse gas, has already exceeded the levels that can be considered safe respect to the Earth's climate. This makes it necessary to take immediate steps towards weaning the global economy off carbon emitting energies. Leading developed countries are in the best technological, political, and economic position to begin this transition immediately while taking full economic advantage from early action. Concurrent technological transfer to developing countries will ensure a rapid global decline in emissions in light of the fact that developing countries account now for over half of all fossil fuel emissions.

Natural capital must be accounted for in measures of economic performance. The wealth of nations includes its material, human, and natural capital. In practice, material capital alone is used to indicate national economic status. As a result, even though the gross domestic product is rising, countries are often getting poorer. Taking account of changes in natural capital (the capacity of ecosystems to supply benefits to society in the future) in measures of economic performance will help countries to choose more sustainable and equitable development pathways. This will include the decoupling
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Contact: Maria Jesus Delgado
MariaJesus.Delgado@uab.cat
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Source:Eurekalert

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