Kevin McCloud on global sustainability and the mystery of good design

Our editor-at-large discusses global sustainability and the mystery of good design, and reveals his favourite new products.

By Hannah Fenton | 6 March 2017

Our editor-at-large discusses global sustainability and the mystery of good design, and reveals his favourite new products.

Kevin McCloud on global sustainability and the mystery of good design 1

There’s one inescapable fact that lies behind world leaders battling to set climate change targets, the clumsy laws for eco-towns, and even your council’s cheery recycling initiatives: our planet has finite resources. Yet the population seems to be growing inexorably. There are currently about seven billion of us, and this is set to rise to nearly 10 billion by 2050 – alongside rises in temperature, sea levels and global standards of living. How can our tiny planet deal with all this?

While bounteous, the Earth simply isn’t big enough to cope. We are running out of our primary requirements: fresh water, trees, space for growing food, clean air, and many of the precious minerals we use to make our televisions and mobile phones. WWF’s (01483 426 444; wwf.org.uk) Living Planet Report published the shocking news that between 1970 and 2010, populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish around the globe dropped by 52 per cent. That’s more than half, which we have inadvertently extinguished. As