Can emerging economies across Asia and Africa lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in the next few decades without condemning the world to environmental destruction?
With more than 800 million people living in extreme poverty and many more struggling to make an honest living, it is clear that the current global economic model isn’t working for everyone. Economic growth often comes at the expense of the majority, with short-term financial gains trumping long-term sustainability. The current global obsession with economic growth, alongside the enormous over-consumption enjoyed by the wealthiest people on the planet, has brought us all to the brink of catastrophic climate change.
The global economy now sits at a crossroad.
For the first time in centuries, the global south is driving economic growth and societal change at a rate the United Nations says is “unprecedented in its speed and scale”. While the historic rise of emerging economies has improved the lives of millions, the equally rapid rise in emissions, with BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – contributing around 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, is a path to disaster.
Earthrise presenter Ndoni Khanyile travels to Burkina Faso where farmers are embracing agroecology as a means of feeding the most vulnerable and visits villagers in Uttar Pradesh in India, who are turning to solar microgrids for energy.
Ndoni also meets leading figures such as Kumi Naidoo, the head of Greenpeace International, to talk about what’s really at stake for developing nations affected by climate change, and Jairam Ramesh, a leading economist, who insists that the environment cannot be sacrificed at the altar of economic growth.
What Ndoni discovers on this journey is that green alternatives to development do exist. This film asks if climate-change solutions used correctly could be a way to save the planet and redress inequality and poverty at the same time.