Book release: SUSTAINABILITY AND ECOLOGICAL TRANSITION IN THE POST-COVID ERA: Challenges and Opportunities in the Face of Climate Change and Energy Transition. Free access here.

Ricardo García-Mira
Petra Schweizer-Ries
Cristina García-Fontán

In recent years we have seen the need for changes emerge in the global context from both the social and ecological point of view. More recently, over the last three years, the Covid19 crisis and the climate change with which it is related, through the breakdown of the natural barriers that separate us from other species, is an example that we can go further from this return point and placing ourselves in a context of maximum interest. What is happening with this, therefore, does not take us by surprise, considering that we can clearly identify its anthropocentric origin and how it is related to climate change, from the alterations that human beings have caused in the cycle of ecosystems that maintain equilibrium at the planetary level.

Psychology has taught us that there is no single point of view, and that different theories explain the paralysis of society in the face of the urgency of undertaking effective and efficient climate action. On the other hand, different interests coexist in interaction within a social system. Manufacturers and producers observe nature with different perspectives than users, conservers and consumers, who, in turn, differ in different identities and ideologies, some oriented to act on the improvement of clean production, while others are more focused on reducing the impact by transforming consumption. Some organizations and social movements are oriented towards green production, while others call attention to the need to reduce demand, to go with de-growth.

Development and growth, therefore, have occupied different positions in the public debate. Meanwhile, whoever one has to define the policies that mark the trajectory to follow, in one direction or another, define guardrails to build a regulatory system with sustainability governance and broad participation. The development model has to be sustainable, regenerative and healthy and generate global ideas and values that permeate education and the social system with ethics, convictions and common objectives, which are authentic reference points of respect for planetary boundaries. In this context, the energy transition must begin by understanding what a transition is and why the way in which energy is managed is important within that transition. Generating interdisciplinary knowledge about this is important to be able to design a de-coupling plan to the different economic, technological, ecological, cult redients of this transition of the whole system.