“Doughnut (economics) for all”: NGOs and policy makers join voices for a more well-rounded EU economy

EEB launches new campaign for a ‘doughnut economy’ that improves wellbeing for all within planetary boundaries

Environmental NGOs, Members of the European Parliament and EU institutions’ officials demanded a sustainable wellbeing economy for the EU, at a public action organised today by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) [1].

During the action, campaigners welcomed passers-by in front of the European Commission with free Earth-coloured doughnuts to raise awareness about ‘doughnut economics’, an economic model that allows to increase wellbeing for all while respecting the planet’s ecological limits [2]. MEPs from different political groups, EU Commission Directors and officials, European Environment Agency (EEA) staff and local politicians took part in the action and voiced their support for the NGO demands.

Nick Meynen, Senior Policy Officer for Systemic Change at the EEB, said: “Our current economic model has driven some to extract more resources and produce more products than we need, exploiting labour and nature far beyond their limits. We need to end our dependence on endless economic growth and heal the double burnout of our society and planet. We have models and indicators to guide us towards a sustainable and fair economy, and there has never been a better time for the EU to take them on board”.

With a new campaign launched today [3], the EEB called on the EU to:

  • Shift the focus from GDP growth to wellbeing, and place environmental, social and gender justice at the heart of EU policies, as promised by the Commission with the 8th Environment Action Programme (EAP) [4]

  • Set binding reduction targets to reduce material footprint by 30% by 2030 and by 50% by 2040, in addition to the existing greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets

  • Accelerate the transition towards energy efficiency, electrification and renewables, and end the greenwashing of fossil fuels and nuclear power in the EU taxonomy.

Over the past months, the IPCC [5] and the EEA [6] have upped their language on the urgent need for alternative economic models, both mentioning ‘doughnut economics’ as a viable alternative for sustainable development.

On 2 and 3 June 2022, the United Nations will hold a global conference in Stockholm to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the ground-breaking report “The Limits to Growth” [7]. The conference will represent the occasion to accelerate the implementation of the UN Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the post-2020 global Biodiversity Framework, and encourage the adoption of green post-COVID-19 recovery plans.



[1] The photos of the street action are available here.

[2] The concept of ‘doughnut economics’ was developed by economist Kate Raworth to represent an economic model that respects social and ecological boundaries. The model highlights a range of minimum social criteria and maximum ecosystem limits. The sweet spot in between is the ‘doughnut’, a safe space where people and nature can thrive together across generations. For more information: https://doughnuteconomics.org/about-doughnut-economics 

[3] https://eeb.org/doughnuteconomicsforall/

[4] Environment action programme to 2030, European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/strategy/environment-action-programme-2030_en

[5] IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/

[6] Growth without economic growth, EEA: https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/growth-without-economic-growth

[7] The Limits to Growth, Club of Rome: https://www.clubofrome.org/publication/the-limits-to-growth/

“Doughnut (economics) for all”: NGOs and policy makers join voices for a more well-rounded EU economy
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