Arnold Schwarzenegger and Europe's climate chief, Connie Hedegaard, are spearheading a new push to help people envisage a sustainable future using low-carbon resources.
The Sustainia initiative, launched on Wednesday with the support of the United Nations global compact, aims to take dozens of new and developing technologies from renewable energy to hydrogen-powered buses, and use designers to create visual representations and recreations that will allow people to imagine what a more environmentally friendly world would be like.
This is needed in order to allay people's fears that opting for more environmentally sustainable practices may lead to a lower quality of life, according to the founders.
"We've done this because it is hard for people to understand what a sustainable future could look like," Hedegaard told the Guardian. "Many people do not want to give up what they know because they fear that if we get away from business as usual, we will go to a grey and uninteresting life. But we can show that doesn't have to be – we can create cities where there is cleaner air, where people have better transport and nice houses to live in. Showing that vision is very important."
The initiative is aimed at the Rio+20 conference this June, where governments, businesses and civil society will discuss ways to encourage environmental sustainability. The theme of the Rio+20 conference is "the future we want", and Sustainia is meant to allow people to envisage what such a future would look like. ... continues...