• 17 May 2023

Dr Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, gives a lecture on The European Green Deal and the Logic of Sustainable Transition.

Video Transcript

0:00 [Music] okay thank you thanks for the invitation
0:07 uh to be here uh what I will try to do is not to dive into an endless list of
0:15 legislation and institutional talk what I will try to do is explain the logic of
0:21 what is arguably the most ambitious integrated systemic policy project on
0:27 environment and climate that Europe has ever put on the table and that’s the European green deal but before I jump
0:34 into uh that logic let me first give you the one minute introduction to the
0:39 European environment agency we were set up in 94 in Copenhagen and in essence we
0:45 do three things we work with 38 countries the six West Balkans then the
0:52 27 it still pains me to say that of the EU and then also from Northwest to South
1:01 East Iceland Norway Switzerland Liechtenstein and turkey so 38 countries
1:08 and we gathered data that is linked to environmental monitoring obligations we make sense of the data we
1:15 connect it to policy evaluation type work yeah our country is doing what they are supposed to do state of the
1:22 environment type work secondly we also do what we call Integrated assessments
1:29 connecting the dots what’s the impact of changing Mobility patterns on air
1:34 quality and then on health for example we came out with a report just this week
1:39 on that and the third thing we do is we have a strong foot in science we have two scientific committees
1:46 operating in the agency where we used to have a really strong UK
1:53 presence as well I have to add and we also uh fund seven networks of
2:00 scientific institutions to work with us so we have that science policy link as
2:06 well voila that’s the introduction we always start from science yeah I mean
2:13 an expert audience so I don’t need to introduce the ipcc we work and contribute to its work we work with
2:20 ipbes on biodiversity loss much less known as the IRP the international
2:27 resource panel I’m a member of that and I’m the leading author of the next Global report it looks at our resource
2:34 use and how it has impact on climate on biodiversity and on human health we also
2:40 focus a lot on human health and well-being and As You Are well aware all
2:45 of these reports come with the same types of messages we’re living in a pivotal decade there is urgency secondly
2:52 we are already facing irreversibilities which is why we’re talking about loss
2:58 and damage for example in a climate negotiation context we’re noticing tipping points in the earth’s systems I
3:05 would claim we also notice that in our social systems by now and in the connection between Earth Systems and
3:12 social systems is socio-ecological dimension and they are interconnected so
3:18 that makes it more difficult you could also read this message as a message of
3:23 complexity uncertainty and risk yeah which is what policy makers usually don’t like yeah okay this is another way
3:31 of phrasing where we are you know the top one undoubtedly the increasingly hot
3:37 temperatures on this planet you may not have seen this one it’s the biodiversity
3:42 loss yeah and if you look at the two Evolutions it would be bizarre if these
3:47 two macro systemic Evolutions are not connected they are yeah and they are connected through systemic understanding
3:55 of our systems of production and consumption what’s the global response to this it’s
4:00 the sdgs yeah and I write the sdgs again because those of us old enough know that
4:06 we had sdgs already in 1992 it was called agenda 21. if you re-read Agenda
4:14 21 and you modernize the language a bit and the science it’s exactly the same
4:19 thing and we had we had a lot of political commitment connected to that a
4:25 lot of institutionalization of sustainability and yet we are less sustainable now than we were then so the
4:32 real question for me is what will we do fundamentally differently in the next
4:37 three decades which apparently we haven’t done in the previous three decades although we had a rather similar
4:43 analysis and a lot of political commitments yeah
4:49 well the European response to this is the European green deal yeah and it has
4:55 a set of policy objectives climate neutrality by
5:01 2050 net zero emissions biodiversity strategy that is quote unquote World
5:06 leading yeah a new circular economy action plan where we focus on resource
5:12 use Farm to fork and zero pollution one the food system first time we had a food
5:19 system approach zero pollution aims at limiting values of pollution below harm
5:26 on human health and ecosystems just transition it’s the first time that the
5:32 EU is explicitly linking a social agenda to an environmental agenda in that sort
5:39 of explicit way sustainable Investments when I will say something about that and
5:45 of course it makes no sense to do all of that if you are living in an industrial Wasteland so there is a clear link with
5:52 an industrial strategy towards the future the language used when we launched the European green deal was
6:01 it’s our most pressing challenge greatest responsibility Europe misleaded
6:06 transition transition has meaning in Academia but also increasingly in
6:11 politics and policy world so I will say a lot about that and it called it an
6:17 existential threat I can tell you this is not the type of language you traditionally find in policy documents
6:23 of the European commission yeah so there was a click there in the thinking but
6:28 what I find really important is to understand the basic logic this is not an environment in climate agenda it’s an
6:36 agenda of systemic societal transformation or sustainability
6:41 transitions which has a lot of these characteristics it’s an investment a
6:47 political priority for Europe a strong systemic logic
6:52 sectoral policies are at the heart of it and I call it sector of policy 3.0 the
6:59 first generation 60s 70s and 80s polluteless yeah the second generation
7:05 was become more efficient and optimize your system without questioning the
7:11 system the third generation is now reinvent yourself into a Mobility system
7:16 that is adapted to the boundary conditions of the 21st century and not those of the previous Century so it’s a
7:23 it’s a very fundamental uh sort of program and you can read through the
7:30 rest of the things we’re of course framing this also in unprecedented times yeah and without diving into this it is
7:38 quite remarkable that after kovit and after the macroeconomic pressures and
7:45 the war in Ukraine that the EU is sticking to the European green deal if
7:51 anything it has strengthened some of the dimensions like the energy transition where it would have been easier to walk
7:58 away not now not now because we have other objectives so that has not been the case now I know I’m in one of the
8:06 most esteemed academic environments in Europe if not the world so I will do
8:12 what I learned from an old professor of mine who waved every month with an old
8:17 book and he said this is an old book read it it’s not because it’s old that it’s irrelevant Yeah
8:24 the more the older I get and the more I watch in the mirror in the morning I think that also applies to myself but
8:30 anyway so I took Thomas Kuhn 1962 on a scientific revolution Paradigm
8:38 shifts and I will use it as a pedagogical tool I’m not going to give you a lecture on
8:44 the philosophy of science do not despair but I think it’s a really nice
8:52 way of thinking about why are we now framing these policies that are really
8:57 different from before yeah so what are we going to do we will walk through the
9:04 kunian circle yeah and Kun says the first part of that circle is normal science you respond to the society in
9:11 which you operate with science I extend it to policy because you’re solving the
9:18 problems and you have a certain Theory and Paradigm that is shared and I think
9:23 in the EU it was the so-called aqui Community the legislative body on
9:29 environment and climate it was comprehensive and it was addressing some of the most serious environmental
9:35 concerns seventh EAP stands for seventh environment Action Program in the EU the
9:41 policy theory was fighting pollution protecting areas that we call nature
9:47 yeah and thirdly institutionalization an enormous breakthrough of
9:52 institutionalization in this field the knowledge Paradigm I assume you know
9:58 you’re part of it the traditional Sciences rather fragmented I have to say
10:04 so we see fragmentation in policy design and implementation and a lot of linear
10:10 thinking yeah that was the essence Dan Kuhn says
10:15 we start to see anomalies and you do three things you blame the apparatus you
10:21 set aside the problem and you modify the Paradigm yeah and do we see that yes
10:26 because that 70 AP says we have have still some concern not least to
10:32 insufficient implementation of existing legislation in other words you blame the apparatus
10:38 don’t don’t question the medicine you should just take it better yeah it’s the
10:45 whole idea of policy implementation and improving that and you can see it at a
10:50 global level Banky Moon 2015 you had between Agenda 21 and the
10:57 sdgs you had the Millennium development goals and he in his writing about it
11:03 said we lifted 2 billion people out of poverty we did really well but we should pay more attention to climate and
11:09 environment you set aside the problem because there is a causal link We lifted them out of
11:15 poverty but based on unsustainable systems of production and consumption so they miss that connection in the
11:23 analysis yeah then we added to the policy thinking efficiency thinking and optimization we
11:31 spent 30 years optimizing the combustion engine although in essence we could have known
11:37 that it was tangentially not going to solve the problems we were
11:43 dealing with and we modified the knowledge base Effectiveness and efficiency thinking market-based
11:49 instruments very popular in some countries voluntary instruments and the
11:55 Dutch have written a whole Library full of literature on voluntary instruments yeah and so voila that was what it was
12:01 can I illustrate that as well we blame the apparatus yes it’s happening even today you know these images from last
12:08 summer yeah this is the last summer yeah okay so what did we do politicians primarily
12:17 called it exceptional and unexpected yeah you ignore the problem yeah no it
12:24 was not because 10 years ago you already saw these exact same photos but they
12:31 looked like this it’s called science yeah what we saw last summer what exactly what we were
12:38 predicting in our modeling in our climate modeling so don’t pretend that
12:43 this is a hiccup no no it’s structural so you set aside the fundamental Problem
12:48 by Framing language around things that was not correct yeah then we go into
12:54 crisis mode what is that the anomalies become too big so your your policy Theory and your
13:02 your theoretical Frameworks do not match with reality anymore there is a mismatch and
13:08 then he uses some apocalyptic language faith in the Paradigm is shaken yeah
13:13 okay good do we see that yes I stick to that seventh environment Action Program
13:18 because it says then that we are dealing with current wasteful production and
13:24 consumption systems in the world economy now wait a minute that is rather
13:29 different from saying we should improve implementation yeah this is a completely different type of language
13:36 we say or in no this is a Yeah in our soar 2020 State and Outlook of the
13:42 environment report which we did with colleagues in the UK still at that
13:47 moment we talk about persistent problems at the systemic level Fran stimmerman
13:53 said the number two in the European Commission Executive Vice President says the model is broken we need a new model
14:01 and then you know guterres who is very outspoken and uses rather strong
14:06 language recently but can we illustrate that yes this is from our state and Outlook of
14:13 the environment report 2020 we call this the piano of the European environment yeah every key on the piano is a policy
14:21 or a set of policies for which we have data and do analysis yeah okay good you
14:27 see the trend lines of the past 10 years and then the Outlook it’s important to
14:32 look at the Outlook the green disappears this is in the region that has the best
14:37 environmental policies on the planet so this is Faith in the Paradigm that is
14:43 shaken what do you mean we’re the best in the world best in class and it doesn’t work now business as usual is no
14:52 longer possible that was our conclusion not even business as usual plus which means let’s do better what we have been
14:58 doing so you need to look at something else can I illustrate that with data yes
15:04 this is after 20 years of biodiversity protection the green the green is the
15:10 conservation status of habitats that is in good shape yeah 20 years into a
15:15 policy you could even say 40 years into a policy yeah faith in the Paradigm is
15:21 shaken yeah did we do what we promised to do yes Natura 2000 sites that are protected we
15:27 increase them you can say what happened in the last years it went down no it’s the UK that
15:33 left the statistics so it went down and and now it’s going up again okay but
15:40 there was no proper management of these sites yeah um as I said in 2000
15:47 and one the EU set we will halt biodiversity loss didn’t happen we did
15:53 the analysis state of nature report so in 2010 the EU said you know what we’ll do it by 2020
15:59 we did the analysis it didn’t happen well what’s next 2030 that has no
16:06 legitimacy or credibility so you now need to start to ask the fundamental
16:11 questions why is this Paradigm not working this policy Paradigm yeah the
16:18 same can be said for a circular economy 2010 to 2021 it grew
16:25 from 9 to 12 percent yeah this is not what the Paradigm was
16:32 expecting to deliver this is far below what we were expected to deliver so fate
16:38 in a paradigm is shaken okay then Kun says you start to see a
16:44 change in world view and he calls it a Gestalt shift yeah and if you use a
16:50 German word for it it’s serious business so a Gestalt shift huh okay it pretty
16:55 much means that you start to look at this complex reality through a different lens you put
17:02 yourself in a different position in this complex reality you start to focus on
17:07 different causalities different levels of analysis and you start to think of new ways of approaching reality simply
17:14 set so you start to see different perspectives and new paradigms are explored do we see this yes guterres
17:22 talks about a suicidal war on nature the European Parliament decides to use
17:27 terminology of climate emergency so in words we are looking at this reality
17:32 differently Beyond GDP the oecd which I’ve always considered as
17:39 the Cathedral of traditional economic growth thinking is now leading work on
17:46 Beyond GDP yeah it’s rather significant in terms of reframing reality we talked
17:54 in our SAR 2020 about transforming key societal systems and systemic change two
18:02 things about that a couple of weeks later the European green deal came out
18:08 and on page one it mentions rsvr 2020 as the knowledge base yeah we that’s of
18:15 course not that they wrote it in the two weeks after we came out with our report we had been working together with those
18:21 who were writing uh the European uh green deal the other thing is when I
18:27 when when I presented our sour in the U.S at the U.S EPA
18:34 um I was done presenting talking about systemic change and the first question came in the Q a and the question was are
18:41 you allowed to say these things and I said no no not only am I allowed
18:46 to say it it’s actually my job to say it because we’re an independent knowledge agency in the EU system so that might be
18:53 the difference with their Reality by the way I added limits to growth 1972 a lot
19:00 of this language goes back to scientific knowledge and understanding and and build up that was there okay
19:08 if we think of a Gestalt shift this is sort of a framing of that that you know
19:14 we just came out with a paper that is called rethinking Humanity in the
19:20 anthropocene and the implications for policy making you know these things are the planetary boundaries and then Kate
19:27 rayward uh donut economics some some take the wedding cake model of the sdgs
19:33 you you know all of that so yeah we are also in a time which some call Super
19:41 Wicket problems Wicked problems are all connected uh yeah
19:47 cashor and ALT and others are working on that and yeah time is running out yeah
19:53 that’s one of the characteristics I think we see that with climate warnings
19:58 policies discount to Future irrationally we are programmed to think either
20:05 linearly or in Cycles that’s sort of the essence of how we were programmed in our
20:10 thinking at least in my generation we we think that that the way in which climate
20:17 change is having impact is rather linear it’s not yeah it’s not this is not from
20:24 last summer this is the winter drought in France yeah the winter drought it’s a
20:29 concept five years ago if you would have said winter drought they would have put you in a mental institution probably huh
20:36 so I mean things are not slowly progressing in some cases those who seek
20:43 to solve the problems are also causing them this is a small selection of the 1500 uh private jets that land in Davos
20:52 every year because that’s of course where they meet and then people say oh this is Harsh language no no if you go
20:59 to Davos you’ve got the top of the Energy System the top of the food system the top of the mobility system the top
21:06 of any other system you want on this planet the financial system and the governance system
21:12 and if you look at the the sort of groupings there World Business Council on sustainable
21:18 development and others you go to the websites of many of these companies and organizations you think are you’re on
21:24 the website of Greenpeace you know they start to use the same colors the greens the yellows and the
21:30 Blues and they all have at least the vice president for sustainability and
21:36 and they’re all about saving the planet yeah well we need them but this is a
21:42 sort of realization where we are and there is no Central Authority at least no Central Authority that has a
21:51 system of compliance behind it that will be necessary in my opinion yeah so
21:57 within that context we think it’s uh it’s no longer about taking bad
22:02 chemicals out of air and water it’s about reconfiguring the core systems in society yeah
22:10 um and that means focusing on systemic transitions which are of deep character
22:18 which means that you cannot understand them only through an engineering lens although in every public talk I give in
22:25 the questions there is the retired engineer in the back who raises his finger and claims that he has the easy
22:31 solution there is none we will need a complex understanding of where we are
22:37 there are no silver bullets yeah we are locked in and I don’t think we
22:42 understand the lock-ins in the systems well enough there is better and better evidence on that but it’s really
22:49 difficult to bring that into policy because that’s where the difficult parts are and I’ll explain that a bit and we
22:56 need to understand the barriers to fundamental uh change yeah an example of that this is a typical
23:03 view of any Highway this is Luxembourg by the way Luxembourg then also had really
23:10 cheap fuel they had fuel tourism in Luxembourg believe it or not yeah so is
23:16 this a technological lock-in I don’t think so because this is if we would
23:22 change the technology in the car it would be exactly the same traffic jam so
23:27 it’s about a system of mobility and thinking about that in all its
23:32 implications okay no this sounds like okay it’s a
23:38 knowledge guy and maybe an academic who is giving all these strong messages well this is from the commissioned work
23:44 program in 23 and of course it starts by saying that we need to tackle these
23:50 things collectively I mean that’s how that’s the essence of the EU yeah
23:55 but it also says that the current crisis underlie the need underlying the need
24:00 for Europe to continue to accelerate the radical transformation yeah
24:06 I can tell you this is not language that is normally used in EU policy documents
24:13 yeah accelerating radical transformation and we will not get there with business
24:19 as usual so that is that is the key message from the very top of the EU
24:25 institutions yeah we see that in the climate law yeah
24:31 which is really setting a trajectory towards net zero minus 55 by 2030 and
24:38 just on the graphic that the commission always uses you see it’s about Society it’s not only about energy that is a
24:45 clear uh message yeah if we want to go to 2030 we will need to
24:52 speed up annual decarbonization efforts by a factor three
24:58 yeah it’s rather obvious that we will not get there by optimization and efficiency gains we
25:06 will need to come with the Breakthrough types of Technologies and business models and behavior that will lead us to
25:15 speeding up and scaling up what it is we consider to be Solutions yeah
25:23 this is the trend line that we have in Europe for Net Zero yeah towards 2050
25:31 what is interesting is that we will be left with about 10 to 15 percent of
25:36 emissions it’s going to be a really crowded place because any sector you speak to they
25:42 they say that they have reasons why they should have a disproportionate part of
25:48 that 15 yeah so if that’s the way we’re going to argue we’re not going to get
25:54 there yeah that is rather obvious and the other interesting thing is that we
26:00 will compensate that 10 to 15 percent by uh what we call removals yeah carbon
26:08 capture and storage carbon capture and use in the natural carbon cycle
26:13 this is where it becomes interesting when you think of discounting the future irrationally
26:19 okay here you see the green line below the bar it’s nicely linearly going down right
26:26 that’s the natural carbon cycle well this is the data that we get every year
26:32 it’s not going down I mean the capacity of our natural
26:37 systems is declining to capture carbon and storage so the message we
26:43 sent to the commission is it’s great that you have this nicely dotted line but a it’s not linear and B it’s not
26:51 reality yeah if you want to do that you will really have to focus on the other
26:58 part of your big agenda it’s nature restoration it’s biodiversity and
27:03 strengthening ecosystems to provide this capacity to have that form of natural
27:09 carbon cycle storage yeah so it shows
27:14 that a it’s it’s pretty important to gather data and analyze it and B
27:20 discounting the future irrationally is not very helpful in framing the policies
27:25 that are needed so I’m now at the biodiversity strategy yeah
27:31 which in the past biodiversity was simply set in Europe protecting species
27:37 and places yeah habitats that was it and the way we did it was
27:43 also we took a map we ring fenced nature and we said this is now nature and
27:49 that’s where we’re going to measure and that’s it yeah it’s delivered some things but it didn’t deliver a lot of
27:56 things now all of a sudden we’re talking about physical and mental well-being as
28:01 connected to biodiversity the fight against climate change I showed that in the previous Gap disease outbreaks yeah
28:09 we’ve learned something from kovit apparently zoanosis and other processes
28:16 and European recovery so we make a link with with our economy
28:22 when we talk about the biodiversity strategy I can tell you the folks that
28:27 the fines the nature directives 20 and 30 years ago they weren’t thinking about
28:33 economic recovery it was not in their Paradigm yeah it was not in their
28:38 Paradigm so okay so it’s all about nature restoration now
28:44 nature-based Solutions where my message simply put is if you want strong nature-based Solutions you will need
28:51 strong nature yeah there seems to be an illusion that we will solve it with nature why we can
28:58 gradually keep degrading it it it’s not going to work yeah and a bio-based
29:04 economy we’re going to get so much more out of biomass if you listen to all the
29:09 plants that the real question is does it add up when you add it all up we will
29:15 come with a big biomass report pretty soon where we look at all these promises on biomass because our clothes will be
29:22 made of natural of biomass we will build our houses out of biomass the Energy
29:29 System it our chemicals basic chemicals it’s all going to be biomass well does
29:35 it add up when you add it all up and the other thing for me and I find that increasingly problematic is that a lot
29:43 of this agenda is also about trade-offs if we want to have Europe connected by
29:49 High-Speed Rail yeah which is a plan connecting Europe yeah there will be
29:54 some areas where Forest is lost where I mean you cannot build Railways at that
30:00 scale without some trade-offs I don’t think that micro analysis of every tree
30:06 yeah and every European hamster to put it bluntly is going to deliver
30:12 a debate that will be beneficial for society nor for the outcomes in my
30:18 opinion a lot of social capital and political capital is lost in having these endless micro battles while we
30:25 should be coming with an overall macro Vision on that so that people feel that
30:31 there is trust in the overall system and you don’t need to fight every single
30:36 battle as a zero-sum game in Game Theory if you have multiple
30:41 games and there is trust in the players you have a very different outcome than if you have a single game that you need
30:48 to fight every single time over every tree now I can understand on the nature side that people are very doubtful about
30:55 this statement because Nature has always been on the losing end yeah and the
31:00 developers and the infrastructure guys and the business guys and the you know the the promoters of new developments
31:07 have been on the winning side but if we don’t turn that logic around I don’t think that this microanalysis of
31:13 trade-offs will deliver the systemic cancers okay if you don’t recognize the Mendeleev
31:20 table here that’s because it isn’t a mentally F table it’s framed as a
31:26 Mendeleev table but it’s by Paul anastas from Yale and a number of his colleagues the grandfather of green chemistry who
31:33 says if we want to move in that direction we will need to step away from our current chemicals
31:39 and he says that as an academic but the director the previous director of the
31:45 chemicals agency in Helsinki was very clear with the current molecules
31:52 system we are incompatible with biodiversity goals we’re incompatible
31:58 with climate goals and incompatible with human health goals so we need to rethink
32:03 our chemicals Paradigm embedded on the reach to reach legislation and it’s
32:08 another sector that needs to reinvent itself yeah tall order the the core statement in the
32:16 chemical strategy that is under revision now is safe and sustainable by Design
32:22 yeah it’s something that we as an agency contributed to we work extremely well
32:27 together with Echo the chemicals agency and with fsada food safety Authority the
32:33 three of us are responsible for that then on social uh change yeah
32:40 just transition yeah it’s now a banner you need to wave with it if you don’t
32:46 you’re not considered to be Bonton to say it in proper English
32:52 I do and I I’m not against this at all in all
32:57 Clarity but it’s easy to say now oh Leave Nobody behind yeah what the hell does that mean you know I think it’s a
33:05 concept that is under defined under specified we have a poor knowledge
33:10 base for it by and large why because social Dimension and data was always gathered
33:19 used analyzed miles away from environment and climate data so
33:24 connecting the dots there is not so easy and so obvious we have better and better data and also methods to do that
33:31 nowadays but we have a poor knowledge base for it yeah we are working together
33:37 with the European foundation in Dublin now and we are using data that is socioeconomic and one result for example
33:44 will be that we will be analyzing and putting online a dynamic atlas of
33:51 pollution Health and Social Distribution on our website then you can open Serious debates about
33:59 leaving nobody behind yeah okay it’s so obviously also about distributional
34:04 issues and also the rest of the world there is an openness now in Europe which was not there even five years ago to
34:12 talk about our external footprint and to really quantify that and bring that into International debates that is an
34:19 openness that is there that was not there before it also leads to Major
34:24 initiatives in Europe to think about Beyond growth and Beyond GDP that we contribute to so the social Dimension I
34:33 think is critical because we’re talking about societal change climate change is not a it’s not a physics problem huh
34:41 it’s a social problem in essence it was caused by humans and
34:47 we are we are impacted by it I mean the planet will do well without us that is
34:53 no problem so it’s a social problem so we need to understand it in its multiple Dimensions by the way I think it’s one
35:00 of the dimensions where we can learn from the US because they’ve had legislation on environmental justice for
35:06 more than 20 years the U.S EPA is doing an annual report on that and I think we
35:13 can learn from that yeah than the essence of our economic system Finance
35:19 in the green deal we framed the sustainable Finance initiative
35:24 with a taxonomy on what is green Investments it has led to European
35:30 Investment Bank to make major changes it has led people like lagacht who is running the European Central Bank to
35:37 talk about climate risks to public Banks I mean that’s quite significant and it
35:44 has an impact on how people in the financial sector are starting to look at what their Investment Portfolio is
35:51 driving or not and I a couple of months ago I gave a keynote for the financial
35:57 sector with the commission at the European commission but then the financial site
36:03 of the commission paradigm shift I can tell you five years ago the idea that the director of an
36:10 environment agency would give a keynote to the finance people again you know put this guy on an island and keeping him
36:17 away from us that was not in the picture so I mean in that sense things are
36:23 changing yeah but but we do that in a time when you
36:30 know the have you seen the profits of the oil companies lately in hundreds of
36:35 billions when we cannot get together a climate fund of a hundred billion what
36:41 sort of message are we sending there when when the ambiguity in the system is
36:47 that no no we not no rushing Gas We Now go to Qatar yeah
36:53 well as somebody who is a social scientist by fundamental training I
36:59 don’t know whether Qatar is the big Improvement when it comes to Human Rights and uh and I mean the ambiguity
37:05 in this complex system is there so we need to deal with it and and at the same
37:11 time and this is coming from the world economic Forum not from some
37:16 green left-wing think tank or radical Rebel rousers they are saying that we
37:22 could save one trillion a year by going green in the energy system so so what’s
37:27 holding us back that is called lock-ins and barriers so we need to understand them uh better okay back to you
37:36 thought I forgot about I didn’t yeah you may have forgotten about okay
37:41 Danny says we are in a pre-paradine phase alternative Concepts compete it’s
37:47 an anarchic period and fact Gathering appears on guided well in 20
37:53 uh 16 or 17 I I gave a talk called Europe’s emerging transition agenda
38:00 making sense of the green blue circular resource efficient low carbon biosmart digital economy and by now we can add
38:07 regenerative economy and just unfair transition yeah I’m not ridiculing all these terms
38:13 because they all have meaning they all have a policy setting they all have budgets attached
38:20 to them they all have regulation they all have ngos and and academics working
38:26 on them but at the end of the day it is about connecting the dots and transforming the economic system of
38:32 production and consumption Within These planetary constraints and with a sense
38:38 of social distribution yeah so we need we need to to get better at that is this
38:44 anarchic certainly it was it’s less anarchic now with the green deal because
38:49 the green deal is connecting a lot of these thoughts and fact Gathering appears unguided oh yes it is yeah
38:58 if you want to find traditional economic data easy if you want to find traditional environmental data fairly
39:06 easy try to find good solid data that is comparable about some of these things
39:12 really difficult so we’re still catching up in our monitoring and Reporting
39:18 Paradigm we have a role to play in that as an agency yeah
39:24 there’s no shortage of data this is from 2002 to today the data that we have been
39:31 Gathering it’s a factor 2000 in 20 years so the agency is gathering 2 000 times
39:37 more data and that is not counting the Copernicus data which is petabytes yeah
39:43 so it’s endless yeah endless look at nature data however
39:50 that has hardly increased it’s super conservative by and large and we don’t
39:56 report a lot some other data has increased so is there a lack of data no
40:03 Copernicus data is increasingly there we are a key player in Copernicus we can do
40:09 a lot with it but the environment Community tends to be very conservative in changing the monitoring and Reporting
40:16 Paradigm and I’m not pleading to throw all the in-situ data away but in connecting the dots there is a lot of
40:23 work that needs to be done yeah this is uh an illustration in 94 and now
40:31 more recently 2000 how airing climate nature sustainability and well-being and
40:37 economic sectors how we connect the dots and in the beginning we were
40:44 doing rather linear analysis as was the case almost everywhere the
40:50 water people did water the air people did air the soil people did soil and you
40:56 had to be a rather special person to connect the dots and especially in Academia that was not part of the reward
41:04 structure you know stay in your discipline your sub-discipline your sub-sub-discipline and deeper and deeper
41:11 and deeper yeah an inch white and a mile deep yeah I’m not pleading for an inch
41:17 deep and a mile wide we wouldn’t call that science but connecting the dots should be part I think of more systemic
41:24 understanding and this is what we are doing now it’s much more connected yeah in what we do but look look at where
41:32 it’s least correct connected in natural capital in biodiversity very
41:37 conservative field yeah in many ways and we have not managed to connect it to
41:43 societal Dynamics as much as some other fields so oh more data how do we then
41:50 create impact from that data by communicating it well
41:57 and I think that is where there is a lot of lacking on the site of those who are
42:02 sitting on the data how many presentations do you go to where every other Slide the presenter has to say I
42:09 know you cannot read this but this is what it says not with me you know if they come with
42:15 something like that my stuff I say out you know I don’t need this or or I know
42:21 this is hardly understandable but and and imagine you’re talking to policy makers they have no time for that yeah
42:27 okay and then you may have some impact but it means that we need to become bilingual
42:34 in science policy and I think that’s where the value of these institutions is
42:39 that can connect the dots I am a non-believer of direct science policy interface very few people do it
42:47 you need institutions in my opinion that are specialized in integrating new
42:54 and relevant science translate that into a language and products that we know our
43:01 aimed to influence policy making because that is where it’s a specialization in
43:06 and of itself yeah and we shouldn’t waste too much time on this okay near
43:12 the end then we enter the new paradigm stage yeah where the systemic is the norm yeah from
43:21 a knowledge perspective that’s my specialty I think we need a networked knowledge system
43:29 much more than the fragmentation than we’ve had before and we can talk about a
43:36 lot of these other elements which I’m sure you are familiar with it starts
43:41 with systems literacy though which does not tend to be widely spread even in
43:47 many of our best universities today yeah but it is what it is yeah and then we
43:55 are in this new stage and my final slides is that in this Paradigm of you
44:02 know systemic transitions there is what I call the intellectually pleasing Green Arrow it’s intellectually
44:09 pleasing for academics and for institutions and for politicians it’s what we should do more we experiment we
44:17 try to accelerate it we institutionalize it and then we know we will be in a better place it’s great we should be
44:23 focusing on that well I think we don’t do enough is pay attention to what we
44:28 should be phasing out yeah we don’t spend a lot of policy time on
44:34 it and in Academia it’s not exactly what people are focusing on but I think it’s
44:41 necessary because that’s where the conflicts are hey it’s my job my sector my region my house my land my this my
44:50 that yeah or or at best hour our sector yeah that’s where we will find need to find
44:57 enabling conditions and we know what this is about fossil fuels yeah I know it’s a sensitive issue maybe here in
45:04 Scotland but fossil fuels yeah environmentally harmful subsidies the
45:09 oecd and the EU have worked for 30 years on environmentally harmful subsidies
45:15 where are we today on that well not exactly massive progress yeah as we know
45:21 from a variety of Institutions sustainable taxes or unsustainable taxes
45:26 and phasing them out yeah there is fantastic work on sustainable taxes we
45:33 work a lot or I mean I consider as a as a academic friend Paul eakins his work
45:38 on on environmental taxes is is world renowned where are we with that we did a
45:44 report on that a year ago I can summarize it in four words it is going
45:50 nowhere yeah it so we’re not really having the Breakthrough there 45:55
unsustainable spatial planning I come from a country Belgium where
46:01 spatial planning is pretty horrific yeah if you have bad spatial planning good
46:06 luck with all the rest now so special planning if you go to the Mediterranean any coastal region spatial planning yeah
46:14 but yeah I mean spatial planning is really one of these backbones so
46:19 unsustainable spatial planning we should phase it out as rapidly as we can it
46:25 locks Us in for decades sometimes into habits yeah unsustainable inequality and
46:32 living conditions for me are part of this agenda as well and there is quite a bit of that not only at a global level
46:39 but also at the local level voila this was a bit what I had to say
46:47 I I hope that this was made any sense to you I’m of course open for any criticism
46:54 or questions or any of that for every slide that I showed
46:59 we have 10 reports and 12 briefings and 19 data sets and I I mean I could give a
47:06 a two-year course on the basis of these slides but I thought I’d give you the
47:11 overview of the thinking Behind these things thank you foreign

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