The top environmental experts of the world have attested that if our economy continues on its current course, then in regards to the climate and natural resources, we will find ourselves at the end of the line.
In recent years, this information has also reached the decision-makers, who are hungry for economic growth. A discussion has started about de-coupling, about disconnecting economic growth from the increased use of natural resources and increased greenhouse gas emissions. But how to achieve an actual, not just relative, decrease in the amount of emissions without having to give up our current level of well-being? How to avoid the way of prohibitions and obligations but yet maintain at least an average standard of living and possibly even increase economic equality?
Regardless of 20 years of research and work with environmental and economic issues, I have not come across many applicable, or even theoretically feasible solutions. Even an increase in the resource efficiency of production does not seem sufficient to cap the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions. The sharing economy can, however, provide a parallel solution that goes deeper than technical improvements.
The sharing economy does not have to mean a reduced standard of living — in the sharing economy, natural resources are simply used sparingly. It offers a way to save money by sharing underutilised resources, and the enterprise-oriented will find it bulging with new opportunities. On many occasions, the sharing economy has indeed been considered to be one of the best ways to combine well-being with a functioning and ecologically sustainable economy. Another feature of the sharing economy is that it encourages people to include more communality into their lifestyle, thus offering an opportunity to increase social and mental well-being.
A Fair Share strives to show its readers where the opportunities of the sharing economy and of change lie.