We are facing a dilemma: on the one hand we need to continue to ensure that our economy is sound, preferably with continued growth in the economy and increase in prosperity. On the other hand we need to transition our economic activities into a mode that halts climate system disruption, ensures precious elements like nitrogen and phosphorous are recycled responsibly, and uses fossil energy supplies sparingly. We face the dilemma that chemicals perform much needed services in things like paint or plastic container but they also cause pollution and possibly affect health.
We need research and practical proposals, debate and discussion into how this transition can be managed within the framework laid down by scientists and authorities, and within real targets laid down by decision makers/politicians. If we introduce regulations too strict and too early, we risk undermining the economy and the prosperity we enjoy. If we introduce measures too late, we risk undermining our economy with the extra burden of investing in technology when we do not have the money to do it.
We need a discussion based around: how can we reorganize our financial system so that it can continue to perform its essential functions—reinvesting savings into environmentally and socially beneficial projects—in the context of e.g. declining energy supplies, eutrophication and ecosystem services. A good starting point is the mechanism of flexible emission fees.