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The Generational Goal

Does the rich world have a climate debt to poorer countries? Can we save the global climate by living a simpler life, with fewer possessions and more leisure time? Is Sweden a model for climate initiatives, or have we only moved the problem elsewhere by importing an increasing proportion of the goods we consume?

In “Generationsmålet – kontroverser kring klimat och konsumtion [The Generational Goal – controversies surrounding climate and consumption]” ten researchers from widely differing perspectives and subject backgrounds – economic history, philosophy, history, environmental science, economics, sociology and political science – discuss some controversial issues on consumption and climate change. The texts have grown out of lively discussions and show what the authors could agree on, but also that there is a fundamental divide between technology optimists and technology pessimists.

The point of departure for the book is the goal decided by the Swedish Parliament, that the society to be handed over to the next generation would be a society “in which the major environmental problems have been solved, without creating increased environmental and health problems beyond Sweden’s borders”. How can this so-called generational goal be realised? What changes in our lifestyle are required to make it possible? What responsibility do we have as individuals, and what responsibility do the politicians have?

Hopefully, the book can contribute to a deeper discussion on the connections between our daily consumption and one of mankind’s greatest future challenges. It is aimed at university students, decision makers and all those who are involved in environmental and societal issues.

The book can be purchased at bookshops and at AdLibris and Bokus