Discussing the Earth Charter Initiative with Fritjof Capra

Last year saw one of the most historically symbolic events of recent years when 195 countries signed the Paris Agreement to cut back on pollution contributing to climate change. So, last month when President Donald Trump announced that he would pull the US out of the agreement, there was a huge reaction, with many leaders of countries around the world expressing their dismay.

Given the historical, political and environmental significance of the events of recent weeks, it was absolutely fascinating to have been able to discuss the Earth Charter in depth with Fritjof and all of the participants of the Spring 2017 edition of Capra Course, Fritjof’s on-line course which is based on his most recent book The Systems View of Life, co-authored with Pier Luigi Luisi.

Earth Day celebration. Brazil, Sao Paulo

Because our discussions about the Earth Charter Initiative on Capra Course had been so interesting, I took the opportunity to interview Fritjof about it, its history, his role on the ECI council, and why it is so relevant in today’s systemic global crisis. Fritjof explained its importance by saying that:

The Earth Charter is so important, in my view, because it lays out in great detail an ethical vision for creating a world that is sustainable, just and peaceful. These three principles are not difficult to understand, but to apply them concretely in business, politics, education and so on is quite a task. The Charter, which was composed over many years in a unique global collaboration, has achieved that. It is a declaration of 16 values and principles, each consisting of several sub-sections, for building such a sustainable, just and peaceful world. The document was completed in 2000 and if you read it today you will see that it is still fully valid. It is a magnificent summary of the kind of ethics we need in today’s world, in our time.

My interview with Fritjof was published today on Sustainable Brands, including the systems map which Fritjof drew to explain it in detail. You can read the interview in full here: Never So Relevant: Fritjof Capra on the Earth Charter Initiative