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Rethinking Globalisation in the light of Contraction and CONVERGEnce

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The new global sustainability movement

The 'contraction and convergence™' framework is a route towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change. Researchers have been extending and updating this framework to provide a modernised approach to global sustainability.

Climate Change and Environment icon Climate Change and Environment

Funded by the EU, the 'Rethinking globalisation in the light of contraction and convergence' (CONVERGE) project developed a vision, policy guidelines, tools and a future research agenda for convergent globalisation and convergent resilience. The project team developed a streamlined notion of contraction and convergence that relied on two words: equity (in terms of social development), and limits (in terms of resource use and the physical boundaries of the planet). CONVERGE modelled resource-use scenarios for 40 of the most important resources for development, and concluded that many will become scarce before 2100. It also showed that without major changes in resource use, this scarcity could lead to peak wealth, peak population and even peak civilisation in the next century. Other CONVERGE activities focused on spreading and improving knowledge of convergent globalisation. This was achieved through several transdisciplinary workshops and conferences. Significant time was also dedicated to policy review and recommendations. Researchers found, for instance, that there are major gaps between national and regional sustainability strategies. Two new institutions have stemmed from CONVERGE: the Convergence Observatory, and the Convergence Alliance. The Observatory will be responsible for continued research and strategy development around the concept of convergence. The Alliance will form a professional network to promote the idea of convergence at national and global levels.


Sustainability, contraction and convergence, climate change, convergent globalisation, resource scarcity

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