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This is sustainability: Institutions against the dictatorship of short-term profits

One year before Rio+20, a new website for ombudspersons for future generations is introduced

Hamburg / Brussels / London, 3 June 2011. There is exactly one year to go: The next United Nations conference on sustainable development will take place from 4th to 6th of June, 2012 in Rio. But how can sustainability succeed? The World Future Council from Hamburg puts forward a concrete proposal: Ombudspersons for future generations on all governance levels. What exactly lies behind this concept, where and by whom it is being discussed, and how it fits into the Rio Agenda is explained on the new website. Today, an animated film is being launched on to illustrate this idea.

“Our democratic election cycles and short-term profits expectations drive systematic discrimination against long-term interests. That has long been established, but thus far only a few countries have actively confronted this structural problem. The result is a treatment of the symptoms rather than a transformation,” analyses Dr. Maja Göpel, Director Future Justice of the World Future Council in Brussels.

Two themes on the agenda of the third global sustainability summit in Rio stand in the foreground: Green economies and better institutions for sustainable development. The record from the last 20 years is rather bleak: Nearly all targets in environmental protection, and also many in the areas of poverty reduction and social justice, were missed. No wonder, then, that more and more scientists are speaking up. The Stockholm Memorandum by Nobel Laureates for sustainability demands not only a fundamental restructuring of our economic situation, but also a reform of political institutions for a consistent integration of environmental and development policy and the representation of the legitimate interests of future generations.

“The most renowned scientists in the world support what a growing number of civil society groups have long demanded: courage and commitment to secure our well-being in the long-term, including institutions against the dictatorship of short-term profits,” adds Dr. Göpel. “Young people from every part of the world especially understand the urgency of this need for change.”




Ina Neuberger
Media and Communications, World Future Council Foundation
Mexikoring 29, 22297 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)40 30 70 914-16


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