Not on the agenda in Glasgow: real climate action

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By Alex Jensen and Steven Gorelick, October 2021

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Summary :

The only real reductions in emissions were not the result of policies agreed upon at COP meetings, they were the product of economic slowdowns – from the financial collapse in 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This highlights a simple truth: the fastest and most reliable way to reduce GHG emissions is to make fundamental changes to the economy. The question is: how can the economy be transformed in ways that actually improve people’s lives – providing the huge environmental benefits we need without enormous social and economic costs?

The answer is simple: economic localization.

Here are five ways localization lowers GHG emissions while actually increasing quality of life for the vast majority:

1. Localization eliminates unnecessary transport

2. Localization promotes sufficiency rather than consumerism

3. Localization turns the food system into a carbon sink

4. Localization replaces energy-intensive technologies with human labor and skill

5. Localization stems the tide of energy-intensive urbanization.

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