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Divination about the transition of the world

2030 movement
In the novel 2030 movement, the environmental crisis leads to a successful price change. 


First there were the UN Millennium Development Goals (2015 targets) with eight development goals for the developing world, which world leaders today refer to as partially fulfilled – primarily because of developments in China, where millions of Chinese have been brought out of poverty.

In the follow-up to the 2015 targets, it was clear early on that new UN targets – first and foremost under the influence of global warming – for the nearly 15 years had to have a holistic perspective and encompass the planet and all of civilization.

Thus, 190 nations at the UN General Assembly in September 2015 could adopt the 17 new world goals.

17 Indicative World Goals. It may seem encouraging that the nations of the world have now adopted goals that set a sustainable direction for world development – a development that, in the UN context, began with the UN Stockholm Environment Conference in 1972 and in 1992 was followed by the decisions at the Rio Conference on Development and environment.

Together with the 17 world goals, a large number of different local, regional and transnational platforms for change exist today. For many, where survival is not a matter of 5, 10 or 30 years, but where climate change already has today is about life or death.

Respect for the political environment and the confidence in whether our politicians can be at the forefront of a transformation of our society is very small today. Today's politicians primarily focus on re-election, and this happens in a development universe where old concepts are dead and new ones are not in place at all.

The question today is whether the 17 world targets are at all a strong enough tool to match the challenges the world faces. The 17 world goals are completely devoid of an alternative to the economic model that has caused many of the problems the world faces. Nor do the World Goals contain any proposals to reduce population growth, and so the achievement of the World Goals – achieved through compromises – is, moreover, entirely on the local initiative.

2030 bevægelsen. A new restructuring initiative is now under way. At least according to Solar director Terje Osmundsen, who in a book «from the future» retells the story of the 2030 movement «from 30 years of transition to the movement that secured the future».

Osmundsen, who has a past as political adviser to Prime Minister Kåre Willoch, sees solar and wind power's outcomposition of conventional energy sources such as gas, nuclear and coal as the major turning point. This dates Osmundsen to the period immediately after the Paris Agreement in 2015, which should also prove to have major effects on business and the financial markets. Electric cars had become much cheaper and this attracted a great deal of international attention when Norway decided that all sales of cars from 2025 should take place without energy from fossil fuels. The Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium immediately followed.

In this development, a 2030 movement backed up with “Clean Air” campaigns. With the EU's decision in 2020 that it would be forbidden to sell petrol and diesel-powered passenger cars within 10 years, the countdown to the oil industry had begun.

How did it start? The 2030 movement had grown large with an understanding that social media promotes empathy. Mastery of social media, especially among young people and the generation that had been involved from the beginning of digitalisation, meant, among other things, the use of algorithms to connect content and users. The movement emerged with informal and knowledge-based networks that set out to influence parties, organizations and companies.

In the West, where the greatest economic freedom of action and political and social confidence prevailed, they took the lead and set an example. The locomotive was Germany, the Nordic countries and the Netherlands. It had been realized – wise from experience – that broad solutions and alliances with workers, the middle class and jobseekers were needed.

In several places in the world, it became profitable to invest in own storage. It enabled consumers to become independent of the large centralized power plants. Using censors, algorithms and a so-called blockchaintechnology, most consumers could then buy and sell electricity to each other in the neighborhood.

Osmundsen sees solar and wind power's outperformance of conventional energy sources such as gas, nuclear and coal as the major turning point.

The further development entailed the desire to regulate oil reduction and turmoil in the financial markets, with a reduced influence for the oil companies as a result. Germany and Norway each played a crucial role in the transition process. Germany by its pioneering efforts to break down the coal industry and Norway by gradually having to give up its self-interest in encouraging oil companies to find oil in the Arctic regions.

For the 2030 movement's "Nackte Wahrheit" campaign ("naked truth"), it succeeded in establishing a digital platform where important information could be disseminated, including about former coal miners who had found work in the so-called green economy.

A number of civil society organizations, including Catholic Caritas, joined the campaign, which spread from Germany to all of Europe. In Norway, the campaign had been named "The Naked Truth".

The movement of the people? 2030 movement or not, an incipient change in energy consumption is already underway (February 2017). However, there is still a great deal of confusion with diffuse suggestions as to which direction the change should take place. The methods of planning models contained in New Public Management and neoliberalism came under phasing out. But inequality was rising, the control systems over the rapidly growing population and many partial platforms for change pressed on and seized attention, energy and economic resources.

In the book, which basically presents a scenario for a desired future, the author Marcel Proust is quoted as saying: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

As Europeans, yes, as citizens of the world, the task will not be to develop isolated scenarios for one serious problem (climate), then the other (refugees), then the third (pollution), then the fourth (the media and their fragmentation of events and Events On). The task is much broader and calls for system change.

Between the risk and vulnerability analysis of the challenges that lie ahead, in the analysis and mapping of the system of international institutions that has framed the development paths for our societies – and based on a desire that future generations should not have greatly reduced their opportunities to develop, but on the contrary, to increase opportunities for – under responsibility – to develop own and the community's potentials, possible scenarios for the future should not be reduced to simple projections. The scenarios for change should, for example, include democracy (human rights), global justice and global sustainable development.

Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Juhl-Nielsen resides in Copenhagen.

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