Recognizing the desirability but also the complexity of sustainable development and the circular economy model, ECERA aims to place itself at the intersection between the generators and users of knowledge.
ECERA aims to help governments, companies, NGOs, universities, and others navigate the various facets of sustainability.
Inspired by the ecological economics paradigm with its focus on sustainability-growth trade-offs and distributional fairness, ECERA will promote sustainable development and the circular economy model by producing interdisciplinary, pragmatic and actionable knowledge, engaging with diverse stakeholders and using effective communication tools.
ECERA will seek to influence the agenda of organizations and the public, helping promote a more complex understanding of the challenges and choices behind sustainable development and the circular model, with a particular focus on the developing countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, South Asia and Latin America.
The activity of ECERA will be guided by the following vision:
- Persistent problems are persistent because they are difficult. There are no simple solutions to complex problems. Understanding such problems in greater depth is crucial.
- When it comes to public policies, win-win situations are rare. More often than not complex problems involve tough trade-offs. More accurate, nuanced, and widespread information makes these trade-offs manageable and decisions more effective.
- Science is the best available source for informed decision-making. However, science is not about being right all the time, but about becoming less wrong over time, by having a global community of scientists questioning and challenging the existing and newly produced knowledge. Science cannot tell exactly what will happen by 2050 or 2100, but is the best chance we have for understanding the world around us and evaluating the risks we are facing.
- Markets are effective instruments stimulating entrepreneurial initiative, innovation, and efficiency, but they are weak at identifying social costs and benefits and even less effective at achieving distributive equity. States need to develop modern tools to correct the failures of markets.
- Sustainability should be understood as equilibrium and resilience, the capacity of systems to endure and resist to shocks. It covers the environment but also the economy and society. Social systems with great disparities of wealth and quality of life within and between countries are not in equilibrium and cannot endure.
- The economic system has been transformed by technological change. The meaning of such notions as labor and capital, private and public, competition and cooperation, are evolving to reflect that. In dealing with the challenges of the 21st century, the intellectual tools also need to adapt.
With this vision in mind and within the capabilities of its network of members and contributors, ECERA will tackle the following subjects:
- Energy & Climate (Energy transitions / Energy efficiency / Digitalization / Smart cities and transportation / Energy markets / Prosumers / Energy poverty / Energy security / LCA / Climate resilience and adaptation / Natural climate solutions)
- Water & Resources (Fresh water / Sanitation / Climate migration / Water conflicts / Health)
- Sustainability and Circular Economy (Sustainable finance / Regeneration of natural capital / Sustainable cities and societies / Shared Value Strategy / Strategies for resource management)