We now know that the human species, the planet and civilization may very well be mortal. Our 'business-as-usual' approach to environment issues and in political will threatens to ruin us. Without immediate action to combat global warming, we face losing 5 to 20 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our very biosphere is in jeopardy: increased desertification, deforestation, air and soil pollution, dwindling biodiversity, water crises and the degradation of the oceans.
A novel approach to our ecomony is needed, one that fosters less material forms of production, reduces superfluous consumption and wastes less raw material. We have to create and implement new styles of development that, without halting growth, spare the planet and preserve biodiversity. It is high time, as this volume proposes, for humanity to make a new pact , a 'natural contract' of co-development with the planet.