12 November 2019
BIOS Research Unit
Ecological Reconstruction is the next step in a just transition at a national level. To find out more, please visit eco.bios.fi.
According to the latest scientific consensus reports (IPCC, IPBES, IRP, GSDR), societies need to rapidly and radically lower their climate emissions and natural resource use while ensuring equal opportunities for a good life. The recent calls for a Green New Deal, particularly in the US and to some extent in Europe, have managed to move the twin crisis of climate change and inequality to the center of the political debate. One of the key messages rising from the debates is that the transition is not bounded by money but by natural resources, ecosystems, technologies, skills, and – political imagination and capabilities.
What is now needed in all countries is 1) a comprehensive understanding of the social and material tasks that need to be accomplished internationally and locally, 2) a set of political tools that can be readily used to develop and build low-carbon infrastructure and practices, and 3) a meaningful, orienting narrative that invites people and organisations along.
Ecological Reconstruction is our answer to these three demands for Finland. Based on multidisciplinary research, we have identified key reconstruction sites and outlined a set of tools to accomplish something similar to the post-WWII reconstruction period, during which the basic infrastructure was rebuilt and the ground was laid to later welfare state developments. Unfortunately, the post-war developments also locked in the massive use of fossil fuels. This time, one of the most urgent tasks is to phase out fossil fuels.
Ecological Reconstruction continues the work that was summarised in our background report for the UN Global Sustainable Development Report 2019, noted, for example, by Vice, Huffington Post, and the Independent, and expanded later in LSE Business Review.
BIOS is an independent, multidisciplinary research unit which studies the effects of environmental and resource factors on Finnish society and the European Union – on the economy, politics, and culture – and develops the anticipatory skills of citizens and decision-makers. If you wish to contact us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.