During ReGeneration Week 2021, hundreds of young people from around the Nordic and Baltic Sea region got together to make our voices heard on the climate crisis. We collectively wrote a Declaration listing what must be done to achieve sustainability in the short time frame necessary. In this series, ReGeneration 2030 volunteer Ugnė explores each of the seven articles of the Declaration.
We live in an interconnected and finite ecosystem, yet our current global economy is based on infinitely expanding resource use and profits. This has spelt disaster for our natural habitat, and that’s something that we cannot survive without.
As I explored earlier in this series, our economic system’s demands for infinite growth are eating up planetary resources at a disastrous rate. This has direct consequences for the organisms that we share our ecosystems with. Over the last half-century, more than 25 thousand species have come near extinction. Experts say that in the foreseeable future this number could grow by 55 percent.
I’m sure it will not surprise you that this mass die-off is not just bad for the cute bears. Many of those species are oxygen producers and their extinction could mean the extinction of humanity. For example, if bees go extinct, we would lose a number of plants and eventually we would go extinct as well. Over 40 percent of the human population are already suffering because of the climate crisis. If we continue with business as usual, this number will grow year on year. Even if you’re one of our region’s richest people, you and your family will eventually feel the wrath of this mass extinction if we don’t fundamentally change the system.
We need to start perceiving the difference between public benefits and private profits. Unlimited growth is incompatible with nature's well-being, therefore it is incompatible with a robust and healthy society. Some ways of doing this include:
Incentivise ethical choices in consumption
Build a green carbon market
Put an economic value on nature
Recognise indigenous sovereignty and give power back to practices that are in harmony with nature
Take nature-destroying industries into local community control and rapidly wind them down
We, as self-proclaimed rulers of the world, are failing the whole ecosystem. Without a doubt, the actions of humans are responsible for the environmental crisis we live in today. With great power comes great responsibility and now it is up to us to step up and fix the damage we made.
ReGeneration 2030 is currently formulating position papers on issues like these to help the youth sustainability movement push for change in our region. If you’re under 30 and want to be a part, email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up through our volunteer form.