2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, by Jorgen Randers, launched by the Club of Rome on May 7, raises the possibility that humankind might not survive on the planet if it continues on its path of over-consumption and short-termism.
In the Report author Jorgen Randers raises essential questions:
How many people will the planet be able to support? Will the belief in endless growth crumble? Will runaway climate change take hold? Where will quality of life improve, and where will it decline? Using painstaking research, and drawing on contributions from more than 30 thinkers in the field, he concludes that:
While the process of adapting humanity to the planet’s limitations has started, the human response could be too slow.
The current dominant global economies, particularly the United States, will stagnate. Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and ten leading emerging economies (referred to as ‘BRISE’ in the Report) will progress.
But there will still be 3 billion poor in 2052.
China will be a success story, because of its ability to act.
Global population will peak in 2042, because of falling fertility in urban areas Global GDP will grow much slower than expected, because of slower productivity growth in mature economies.
CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will continue to grow and cause +2°C in 2052; temperatures will reach +2.8°C in 2080, which may well trigger self-reinforcing climate change.
The Report says the main cause of future problems is the excessively short-term predominant political and economic model. “We need a system of governance that takes a more long-term view”, said Professor Randers, speaking in Rotterdam. “It is unlikely that governments will pass necessary regulation to force the markets to allocate more money into climate friendly solutions, and must not assume that markets will work for the benefit of humankind”.