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High-Level Conference
Come on! Capitalism, short-termism, population and the destruction of the planet

Thursday, 12 April 2018

At this Policy Dialogue, authors and co-presidents of the Club of Rome, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and Anders Wijkman presented their new book ‘Come on! Capitalism, short-termism, population and the destruction of the planet’. In the new Club of Rome report, they argue that the human footprint is increasing fast and, if not reduced, will eventually lead to a collapse of the global economy. In their view, profit maximisation and saving the planet are inherently conflicting and there needs to be a restored balance between humans and nature, markets and the law, private consumption and public goods, short-term and long-term thinking, and between social justice and incentives for excellence. They propose an overhaul in the way that governments, businesses, financial systems, innovators and families interact with our planet. Many issues that are featured in the book also concern EU policies and are of direct relevance to current debates on, for example, the circular economy, agriculture, energy and climate action. Their presentation was followed by panel discussion and a question and answer session.

Speakers included: Annika Hedberg, Head of the Sustainable Prosperity for Europe programme at the EPC, Herman Van Rompuy, in his double capacity as president of the EPC and honorary president of the Club of Rome (EU Chapter), Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Co-President, Club of Rome, Anders Wijkman, Co-President, Club of Rome, Jo Leinen, Member of the European Parliament, Claude Turmes, Member of the European Parliament, Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Senior Associate, Cambridge University.

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