Environmental Policy as Social Policy
The 21st century will either be a century of sustainability or one of exclusion, violence and conflict of
distribution. We will either succeed in strengthening economic innovation by combining it with social
justice and environmental sustainability; or economic and social inequality will rise, causing more
crises and shocks.
This escalation, which is also expressed in the SPD’s policy statements, has been developing since the 1970s, ever since the social welfare state and its growth model have been put under pressure.
The two most important triggers were the publications of the Club of Rome in 1972, dealing with the
environmental dangers of economic growth, which until today are not taken seriously. Furthermore,
at the end of the 1970s, the future path was set for financial capitalism when the then British and
American governments wanted to boost their weak economies at the expense of third parties.