Yale professor: Society needs to innovate, change to ensure Earth is preserved for future generations

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New Haven Register; September 21, 2016

NEW HAVEN >> Welcoming participants from across the United States and 10 other countries, Yale University professor Dan Esty opened the first-ever Yale Sustainability Leadership Forum Wednesday with his list of 10 ways society needs to adjust to ensure Earth is preserved for future generations.

Closing out that list was a renewed focus on innovation and calls for all of society to become part of the fight against climate change.

“Change is really hard to bring about even when the status quo is not working,” Esty said. “Because we cling to it.”

“Sustainability requires not just change, but transformative change,” he added.

Further, not innovating for a more sustainable future is not an option anymore, Esty said. And that includes everyone.

“I think every household and every individual will be called upon to participate,” he added.

While environmental sustainability is about preserving the planet for future generations, that can be achieved simultaneously with economic growth, he said.

The focus can no longer be on short-term gain, he said, adding that he thought it would be appropriate to fine companies for any emissions caused in manufacturing or operations, not just the emissions over permitted levels.