Boots & Sabers

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1150, 12 Mar 23

Unborn Weigh in on Climate Change Policy

Great. Now do government deficit spending and debt.

Seven years ago, Sophie Howe became the world’s first ever future generations commissioner. Tasked to be the guardian of the interests of future generations in Wales, she was made responsible for giving advice on long-term thinking to the Welsh government – including on climate.


It’s a role that at once both makes sense and raises a host of difficult questions. How on Earth can someone manage to represent people who will be born in five, 50 or 100 years, for example? “I always say that I sort of represent the unborn but they don’t talk to me very often,” says Howe. “It’s impossible for us to know exactly what future generations are going to need.”


That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, however. As climate impacts begin to bite, and are only set to get worse as time goes on, governments, societies, philosophers and young people are finding themselves tasked more and more to consider how the wellbeing of the billions of people who will live in the future can be accounted for in decisions today.


1150, 12 March 2023


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