SERI Visions: Happiness, Consumption and Work [April
SERI will increase its attention to think through
and calculate effects of reduced consumption levels on the economy
and personal wellbeing. We are open to suggestions, criticism, and
Debates on sustainability have led decision
makers in economy to acknowledge the limitations of nature as a
fait accompli. However, this acknowledgement will not be reflected
in practice as long as economic growth and an increase in consumption
remain the number one priority. This obsession with economic growth
is just as fatal as it is redundant. Limitations of nature are unavoidable
and will dominate our economy and our lives in the long term. Additionally
well-being, happiness and contentment of both individuals and societies
depend little on economic growth, at least for the European and
worldwide consumer class. SERI will increase its attention to these
questions in the future. We intend to think through and calculate
the worst case (from the perspective of an economist)
or necessary case (for ecology) of reduced consumption
levels. We are therefore open to suggestions, criticism, and partnerships.
Factor X and the European Union [Nov.
Together with Martin
Rocholl from Friends of the Earth Europe and Kai Schlegelmilch from
Green Budget Germany, Munich, SERI has been commissioned by the
Foundation Kathy Beys to prepare a study on "Factor X and
the European Union".
The study will identify policy fields
of high relevance for resource and energy efficiency and develop
options for the Factor 10 Network and other stakeholders of civil
society to influence policies towards the realisation of Factor
X targets. For more information on this project, please contact
Life quality and Sustainable Development: Topic of
the month at www.nachhaltigkeit.at [March
In this article we explain how the quality of life concept (similarly
used terms are happiness, well-being) is interlinked with sustainable
development and why this concept is getting more and more important
We then go - with a range of examples
- further into the realms of "objective conditions of life"
and "subjective well-being", and how they can be measured.
From March 1st, the text is available at www.nachhaltigkeit.at.
MOSUS: Presentation of final results was sucessful [Feb.
On December 13th, 2005, around 40 participants
from EU institutions (DG Environment, EEA, EUROSTAT, etc.), research
institutes and NGOs joined for the presentation of the final results
of the MOSUS project.
The workshop presented the simulation
model, the different scenario packages and underlying assumptions,
the economic, social and environmental evaluation of the scenarios
as well as derived policy recommendations (all presentations can
be downloaded from the project website at www.mosus.net).
The project team received very positive feedback and valuable suggestions
for further improvement of the model and the scenarios. The importance
of such integrated modelling exercises for the identification of
best policy mixes for a transition towards sustainable development
was highlighted by many participants. Furthermore, links to other
outlook activities on the EU level, such as by EEA Topic Centers,
have been established.