May 7: Launch of major new Report to the Club of Rome : 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, by Jorgen Randers
(Rotterdam, the Netherlands): 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, by Jorgen Randers, launched by the Club of Rome on May 7, raises the possibility that humankind might not survive on the planet if it continues on its path of over-consumption and short-termism.
In the Report author Jorgen Randers raises essential questions: How many people will the planet be able to support? Will the belief in endless growth crumble? Will runaway climate change take hold? Where will quality of life improve, and where will it decline? Using painstaking research, and drawing on contributions from more than 30 thinkers in the field, he concludes that:
- While the process of adapting humanity to the planet’s limitations has started, the human response could be too slow.
- The current dominant global economies, particularly the United States, will stagnate. Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and ten leading emerging economies (referred to as ‘BRISE’ in the Report) will progress.
- But there will still be 3 billion poor in 2052.
- China will be a success story, because of its ability to act.
- Global population will peak in 2042, because of falling fertility in urban areas
- Global GDP will grow much slower than expected, because of slower productivity growth in mature economies.
- CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will continue to grow and cause +2°C in 2052; temperatures will reach +2.8°C in 2080, which may well trigger self-reinforcing climate change.
The Report says the main cause of future problems is the excessively short-term predominant political and economic model. “We need a system of governance that takes a more long-term view”, said Professor Randers, speaking in Rotterdam. “It is unlikely that governments will pass necessary regulation to force the markets to allocate more money into climate friendly solutions, and must not assume that markets will work for the benefit of humankind”.
“We already live in a manner that cannot be continued for generations without major change. Humanity has overshot the earth’s resources, and in some cases we will see local collapse before 2052 – we are emitting twice as much greenhouse gas every year as can be absorbed by the world’s forests and oceans.”
The launch was organised by the Club of Rome, the international think-tank that focuses on stimulating debate on achieving a sustainable future. The Club is continuing its tradition of supporting work that raises fundamental questions and promotes far-sighted solutions. The launch takes place on the eve of an international meeting of WWF, the international environmental organisation.
Published in the run-up to the Rio Summit, this Report to the Club of Rome: 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years (published by US publishers Chelsea Green) looks at issues first raised in The Limits to Growth, 40 years ago. This earlier Report, also to the Club of Rome, of which Randers was a co-author, created shock waves by questioning the ideal of permanent growth.
Commenting on the findings of 2052, Ian Johnson, Club of Rome Secretary General said: “Professor Randers’ analysis of where the world could be in 40 years has demonstrated that ‘Business as usual’ is not an option if we want our grand-children to live in a sustainable and equitable planet. It took 40 years before the full message of The Limits to Growth was properly understood. We cannot afford any more lost decades.”
How many people will the planet need to support? Which nations will prosper and which will suffer? Will the belief in endless growth crumble? Will the shift to Chinese economic superiority be peaceful? And will runaway climate change have taken hold?
The launch of 2052 is part of a broader 18-month campaign by the Club of Rome: 2052: the world in 40 years to stimulate ideas on future options to shape the world in a sustainable way. The campaign takes its context from the 1972 The Limits to Growth Report.
For press enquiries relating to the 2052 campaign, please contact:
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Forty years ago a seminal book was published that changed the way in which we thought of the world. “Limits to Growth” concluded that if the then present trends of industrial change, pollution, consumption and resource depletion continued, the world would reach limits to economic growth and would move into “overshoot”, that is the world would become unsustainable. Criticised at the time, there is now an emerging consensus that not only are there limits to growth but indeed there are limits of growth in terms of what it can deliver in social, ecological, equitable and individual outcomes. “Limits to Growth” also noted that it was possible to alter these growth trends and establish the conditions for a more equitable and desirable world that would provide stability, sustainability and global equilibrium. The key issue today is not only whether we can move towards a global lifestyle that lives within the planet’s limits but how we can do so. The framework for the Club is to build upon the pioneering work over the past forty years and ask the question “What do we need to do between now and the middle of this Century to place our planet on a new, stable path?”
The Club of Rome, an affiliation of individual members and over thirty national associations, is unique and the network of Club members and their institutions is extensive. It draws from all sectors and disciplines and includes senior individuals from the banking and financial sector, scientists, academics, technologists, social scientists and philosophers. Many are world famous, Nobel recipients and exceptional individuals. The members of the Club of Rome work on a wide variety of issues relevant to the future of human kind. Its’ mission is to undertake forward looking analysis and assessments for the betterment of humanity and to provide a range of options and ways forward towards a happier, more contented, resilient and sustainable planet.
The Club of Rome pursues its objectives through scientific analysis, communications, networking and advocacy. Its work is independent, objective and peer reviewed through its wide membership. The work is undertaken by members and their affiliated institutions and by the International Centre through working groups and projects with members, partners and National Associations. Each focal area outlined below has a number of members actively researching and thinking about the issues and the actions most needed between now and 2052. National Associations are encouraged to discuss and debate issues within their country and help shape national agendas.
Club members, in their individual capacity, manage and conduct research and prepare policy papers and technical papers covering a wide spectrum of views. Where warranted, and by mutual consent, such work can be converted to Club of Rome reports and occasional papers. The Club promotes such work as an integral part of its communications work. A “Report to the Club of Rome” is considered a highly valued product dealing with key global issues. Thus far over thirty books have been prepared and many more articles and published papers.
The main products of the Club of Rome are books, discussion papers, policy briefs, conferences, webinars, lectures, high-level meetings and events. Key findings are used to challenge policy makers in both the public and private sector and to help them (and us) shift to new ways of thinking and to new forms of action.
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URLs in this post:
 Press release Club of Rome – Launch 2052 07-05-2012: http://www.clubofrome.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Press-release-Club-of-Rome-Launch-2052-07-05-2012.pdf
 Press release of 27-04-2012 2052 – A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years: http://www.clubofrome.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Press-release-of-27-04-2012-2052-A-Global-Forecast-for-the-Next-Forty-Years1.pdf
 The World in 2052: http://clubofrome.org/cms/?p=2107
 Global limits, a systemic crisis and its root causes: http://clubofrome.org/cms/?p=2110
 2052: What will the future hold?: http://clubofrome.org/cms/?p=2114
 Shaping the future: Six Global Goals: http://clubofrome.org/cms/?p=2118
 Institutions and delivery mechanisms: http://clubofrome.org/cms/?p=2125