Climate protection – “We need rules and not renunciation”

Growth is still of central importance for the economic system. But growth consumes huge amounts of resources and fuels the climate crisis. Can ecological restructuring succeed without risking social and economic crises? What incentives need to be created? Is renunciation the only alternative? And to what extent can innovation help?

However, according to Ulrich Brand from the Institute for Political Science at the University of Vienna, renunciation is the wrong term in this context: “It has the semantics of having less of what already exists,” he said. Brand was together with Thomas Schuh, sustainability coordinator of ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, and Sigrid Stagl from the Institute for Ecological Economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business on the podium of the discussion round “Knowledge creates discourse”, which the “Wiener Zeitung” organizes together with the University of Vienna – Postgraduate Center . According to Brand, it is more about taking the plantar boundaries into account. And “it’s also about developing prosperity in other countries and continents, so that minimal prosperity is possible for a decent life.”

Apart from a different prosperity model, subjective conditions are also important. “Hopefully in a few years we will have rules that flying no longer costs 20 or 40 euros.” Other forms of mobility are needed. A different form of nutrition: no more cheap meat, no more meat factories. “Transformation always means creating subjective conditions, a different desire,” says Brand. But the objective requirements are also important: “We need rules and not waivers.” The economist Sigrid Stagl also emphasized that change is closely linked to social processes, to routines, habits and expectations. She also criticized the focus on innovation. “We also need to talk about exovation,” she said. What we don’t want to do anymore. Where we need to set rules. Technology is important, but not enough to create changed behavior.

What an ecological economy looks like, why the GDP is insufficient as a benchmark, was discussed during the exciting discussion as well as a different form of mobility, market mechanisms, profit interests or the homo oeconomicus. (cra)

Podium: Ulrich BrandInstitute for Political Science,
University of Vienna; Thomas Schuh, sustainability coordinator at ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG; Sigrid StaglInstitute for Ecological Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Moderator: Walter Haemmerleeditor-in-chief of the “Wiener Zeitung”

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