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Can the earth still sustain us?

Published: Tuesday, 5th July 2016

The Director’s Note following the recent conference held at Ditchley Park, “Can the earth still sustain us? Biodiversity, resources and pollution” is now available on the website.

Those attending this conference were in no doubt of the seriousness of the threats to the environment and current way of life, but recognized the challenge of finding new ways of making these risks come alive to people, and of ensuring that measures were taken to mitigate the risks. There were no silver bullets on offer. This was rather a practical search for things which governments, companies and people could do to make a difference, for example in reducing the threats to biodiversity, even if such measures were limited and perhaps taken for unrelated reasons, such as public health. Governments would continue to have the most important role in setting the rules, but the private sector could do a lot to change the nature of the game too. It was evident that what was needed was the right combination of regulation and economic tools.

A number of more specific ideas and conclusions are recorded in the Director’s Note, which can be read in full here