EU policy makers, a regional Minister implementing the Doughnut Economy and civil society recently ate doughnuts together to chat about the Doughnut Economy, right in front of the Berlaymont, the pinnacle of power in the EU. While the resulting 2’20” video gives you a taste of the action, our dedicated doughnut economics for all page brings things to the next level: what needs to be done right now, at the EU level, to bring the European economy more within the Doughnut sweet zone.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Europe’s largest network of environmental NGOs, organised the event to draw attention to the limits of an economic system based on GDP growth, as well as the urgency of putting wellbeing and sustainability at the core of EU policies.
We welcomed policy makers and passers-by in front of the European Commission with free, vegan and super yummy Earth-coloured doughnuts to raise awareness about doughnut economics. Love often goes through the stomach, and we want decision-makers to love our designed doughnuts and then the Doughnut Economy too. And it worked, as they were happy to come, be photographed and filmed. In fact, most of them are already retweeting our video in big numbers.
Which recipe would you choose?
We all know that the pursuit of economic growth at any cost has pushed societies to extract more resources and produce and consume more goods than necessary, exploiting labour and nature far beyond their limits. This ‘Great Acceleration‘ has come with collateral damage, ranging from climate breakdown to growing inequalities, pollution, water scarcity, and deforestation. The recipe to break this cycle requires dedication to different ingredients, including social equity, justice, health, clean air and water, a stable climate. The doughnut economics model offers a holistic framework to do exactly what is needed in these difficult times.
Three things that EU decisionmakers can do now
At the event, the EEB launched a campaign calling on the EU to embrace the doughnut model, starting with three key steps.
First, refocus from GDP growth to wellbeing. The EU annual green investment gap alone is estimated to be over 520 billion euros, but our outdated fiscal rules are handcuffs. It’s time to put environmental, social and gender justice goals at the heart of EU economic governance and policy and enable the shift towards a wellbeing economy. Check our manifesto and our wellbeing economy report to learn more. Or follow our work in Stockholm+50, where we bring governments and civil society together around the wellbeing economy.
Secondly, let’s sets binding material footprint reduction targets. Today, the EU uses 15 tonnes of resources per capita annually, as if we had almost 3 planets. Recycling is not enough: we need to cut on resource use by wasting less, sharing more, and making daily products last longer. It’s time to set binding targets to reduce material footprint by 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2040 on top of GHG emissions reduction targets. More on this in our ‘Green mining is a myth’ report and urban mining video.
Third, choose less and better animal proteins. We need less and better animal farming, circular and nature-friendly nitrogen and phosphorus management and healthy sustainable diets, with less animal proteins. Learn more here and here.
You and the EU bubble's momentum
State Secretary Barbara Trachte, who has been implementing the doughnut model in the Brussels Capital Region, called on EU institutions to take action: “There is no time to waste. We have the tools to change. Brussels is already doing its part, it is possible, it’s time for the EU to do it too”. But we can all help to build up momentum in EU political circles, just at a time when the European Commission is reviewing its economic governance and a lot of other ‘big files’.
If you like to share the video of our action that you can find on Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - YouTube, MEPs Lambert, Toussaint and Larrouturou, EU Commission’s DG Jean-Eric Paquet and Deputy DG Matthew Baldwin, Brussels State Secretary Trachte, and European Environment Agency’s Saïd El Khadraoui – as well as Kate Raworth herself have already gone before you.
A second twitter thread with 4 mini-video's with decisionmakers present at the street stunt deals with their work and vision on and for a betetr economic system - and these video's were also shared widely and directly to members of the European Commission, such as the chief economist.
All our related political demands, pictures, stories and more video (the 25% revolution, in 13 languages) are here:
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