Towards a New Great Transformation
FES Sustainable Romania Lecture Series
The UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 was a milestone in our thinking about transformation. It defined “sustainability” as an overall concept which encompasses an ecological, an economic and a social dimension and it advocated for a development model “that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Twenty years later “sustainability” has developed into one of the key concepts and political challenges of our time. Climate change is making us aware of the limits of our planet – and at the same time confronting us with the fact that the consequences of our actions know no borders. It points at the need to change production, consumption, energy supply, transport, housing and lifestyles in a way that the level of greenhouse gas emissions is reduced. At the same time, a country like Romania is also in the strong need to develop an economic model that is socially more inclusive, that increases welfare levels, creates job opportunities and offers better economic perspectives for the population. Thus, the economy needs to aim at enabling a good life with equal rights for all people, while keeping the environment intact. It needs to deliver both for the people and for the plant. Yet, from climate change to the financial crisis - the current economic system fails to meet both goals. The challenge is to organize our society so that it is more democratic, inclusive and environmental friendly. But what does such a transformation towards more sustainability mean exactly for Europe in general and a country like Romania in particular? How can the theoretical sustainability triad—environment, economy, and society—be implemented in praxis?
It is the aim of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Lecture Series "Sustainable Romania" to explore pathways for a future development model in Romania and Europe that is
Ecologically Sustainable: That means fully respecting planetary boundaries.
Socially Inclusive: That means creating wealth, employment and social cohesion
Just: That means equally sharing burdens and opportunities between different stakeholders.
Low Carbon: That means with a minimal output of greenhouse gas emissions.
Nationally appropriate: That means respecting countries different backgrounds and challenges towards sustainable development.
In our "Sustainable Romania" Lecture Series, international experts from Politics, Economics, Climate Research, Energy, Philosophy and other disciplines will present their view about necessary steps towards an ecologically sustainable and social inclusive society.