Humanity has enjoyed great progress over the past half century. Since 1970, global poverty rates have fallen from nearly 60% to 10%, and average life expectancy worldwide has risen from 55 to 70.
But the price we've paid for these changes has been high. Climate change poses a great threat to humanity, undermining past progress and worsening the quality of life. The destruction of nature is undermining the ecosystems we depend on every day. We believe there is a better path forward.
We cannot choose between prosperity and the environment. Smart action on climate change and nature will make our economy more efficient, drive technological change, and reduce risks. This will lead to more jobs, healthier citizens, less injustice, and better lives.
Incremental change won’t deliver. Changes across entire systems will be required – driven by new technologies, different policies, shifts in corporate behavior, energetic citizen action, new coalitions, and new ways of thinking about the future.
We can continue investing in yesterday’s economy — a decision that will intensify climate change, accelerate biodiversity loss, and deepen socioeconomic inequities. Or we can begin a great reset that will lead us all toward a more sustainable, prosperous future.
We will need bold actions from governments, companies, financial institutions, philanthropy, and citizens everywhere.
The economy in 2030 must be dramatically different from what it is today. Radical changes will be needed in the way we power our world, construct our buildings, manufacture and consume products, manage our land and grow our food, design our cities, and transport our goods. Broader transitions must also occur in how we measure progress, deliver basic services, and equitably distribute the costs and benefits of change.
Each of these systemwide transformations encompasses component transitions, from the replacement of the internal combustion engine to the restoration of a billion hectares of degraded land. It will also require a strong focus on environmental justice. Some 40 to 60 shifts are required. Almost all must happen concurrently — and rapidly.