The Future of Everything

Dr. Richard Benwell is the chief executive of Wildlife & Countryside Link. Previously he has been a policy adviser to the Secretary of State at Defra, led policy and advocacy at WWT and RSPB, and served as a director of Westmill Solar Cooperative and a clerk in the House of Commons Commission.

The future of everything depends on a healthy environment. This means averting dangerous climate change, reversing declines in species and habitats, reducing our demands on Planet Earth. With increasingly dire and doom-laden warnings of global collapse, and so many campaigns intent on stopping things from happening and preventing harm, it’s easy to think of environmentalism as a political force focused on the past. Certainly, there will always be a place for old ways, traditional knowledge, and a simpler life as part of the green message. But environmentalism need not be a political ball and chain or a barrier to progress and innovation. On the contrary, this talk will consider how a progressive politics of environmentalism could be a gateway to a better, more equitable way to structure our society and economy. Next year, three multilateral negotiations will take place that could determine whether the global community realize that opportunity.