“A growth model centered on fossil fuels is simply obsolete”
2 min read

“A growth model centered on fossil fuels is simply obsolete”

Beyond Growth Conference 2023

~ Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Yesterday (17th of May), the Beyond Growth Conference 2023 ended on an unexpected emotional note with activists singing in the European Parliament; global thought leaders were struck by surprise. The Conference is a cross-party initiative of 20 Members of the European Parliament, supported by a wide-range of partner organisations, aimed to challenge conventional policy-making in the European Union and to redefine societal goals amo away from the harmful focus on the sole economic growth – that is, the growth of GDP – as the basis of our development model. Taking place on 15-16-17 May 2023 in the European Parliament (Brussels’ site), the conference involved many stakeholders, ranging from Nobel prize winners, such as Joseph Stiglitz, President Ursula von der Leyen, Doughnut-economist Kate Raworthto and young academics and activists.

The latter revived the otherwise plain academic conference with vibrance and resonance. Young activists held up posters with messages to the world leaders to abolish growth during the speech of Anuna De Wever, a renowned climate justice activist. At the closing, the activists even started to sing ‘hey-ho take me by the hand’ and the audience joined: ‘We are still here and we are at the heart of Europe’. The conference hence, ended with an energized and empowering notion, encouraging policy-makers, scholars, and societal stakeholders to become bolder, voicing the need to overcome the growth addiction the European Union has subscribed to, if we want to stay within the planet's safe boundaries.

See more:

“European leaders, if you lack political bravery
to make paradigm shifting decisions, then leave it to us”

~ Anuna De Wever, climate and social justice activist

  • ●  The activists showing their signs during Anuna’s speech (01:40h). Later: signs and singing in the European Parliament (02:20h).
  • ●  Pictures of the action, free for publication without reference to the photographers.

●  Speech by President von der Leyen at the Beyond Growth Conference in the European Parliament

(written form here).

●  The website of the Beyond Growth 2023 Conference.

Contact Person:

Lisa Reichelt on behalf of the loose alliance of young participants Email: lisa.luna.reichelt@gmail.com
Phone: +49157 8885 7892

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