UNamur / Development Economics
The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.
It has become crucial to offer a new framework for the economic development of emerging and developing countries. Today, billions of people aspire to live the American way and are starting to do so. We already know the disastrous consequences such a lifestyle has when only a few hundred million people adopt it. What will it be when a significant part of the Chinese and Indian population join them? International cooperation on environmental issue has never been more important, keeping in mind the emergency of the situation as well as the different levels of responsibility falling on different countries.
I believe that in our developed countries, much more effort need to be done in order to decrease our environmental footprint, especially in the better-off layers of the population.
This implies a decrease in consumption (especially conspicuous consumption), in air travel and maybe also a turn toward a more vegetarian diet.
I have started to implement these changes in my life over the past years but have realized that it can prove to be tiring, frustrating and even futile in a society that does not change at the same time.
For this reason, I believe that it is time to reconsider the ground values of our society: What do we want as a society? What is success? What is the meaning of a good life? This in turn requires every one of us to go inside of ourselves, reconnect with our inner selves, question our preconceptions and face our fears.
Structural changes in the society are desperately needed if we want to move to a more sustainable and just future. However, such institutional changes go hand in hand with individual changes, not so much in our day-to-day habits and our shopping behavior, but in how we look at the world and interact with it.