>organisations, publications, local
academia.edu/ Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology,geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions
Development Economics, Development Studies, International Development, Political Ecology, Sustainable Development, Ecology, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability
academia.edu – gg/pdf 2018 Is it possible to achieve a good life for all within planetary boundaries? – by Jason Hickel
The safe and just space framework devised by Raworth calls for the world’s nations to achieve key minimum thresholds in social welfare while remaining within planetary boundaries. Using data on social and biophysical indicators provided by O’Neill et al., this paper argues that it is theoretically possible to achieve a good life for all within planetary boundaries in poor nations by building on existing exemplary models and by adopting fairer distributive policies. However, the additional biophysical pressure that this entails at a global level requires that rich nations dramatically reduce their biophysical footprints by 40–50%. Extant empirical studies suggest that this degree of reduction is unlikely to be achieved solely through efforts to decouple GDP growth from environmental impact, even under highly optimistic conditions. Therefore, for rich nations to fit within the boundaries of the safe and just space will require that they abandon growth as a policy objective and shift to post-capitalist economic models.
> Environmental Science, Economics, Development Economics, Environmental Economics, Development Studies, Commons, Environmental Studies, Ecological Economics, Economic Growth, Sustainable Development, Ubuntu, Green Economy & Green Jobs Perspectives, Environmental Sustainability, DeGrowth, Planetary Boundaries, Steady-State Economy, Degrowth, Ecological Economics, Evolution of Economics, Sustainable Lifestyles, Behavioral Change, Human Development, Evolution of consciousness, Intentional Communities, Grassroots Movements, Public Debt, Green Growth, Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics, Green Economy, Peak Oil, Capitalism, Degrowth, Prosperity Without Growth, Décroissance, New Economy, Ubuntu philosophy, Ubuntu , Applied Ubuntu; role of Ubuntu in business, Decrescita Economica, Buen vivir, Post-Growth, Decrecimiento, Plan Nacional Del Buen Vivir, Degrowth Sustainable Lifestyles, Growth Vs. Degrowth, Piketty
>organisations, publications, local
steadystatemanchester.net/ For local prosperity, justice & ecological safety
The Viable Economy, based on the values of stewardship, justice, conviviality, solidarity, co-operation, equality and respect, seeks to to redress the parlous state we are in, ecologically, socially and economically. Its proposals, even if they need further development, show us how we can set out on a path to a resilient, more localised, stable economy that delivers what we all need: a frugal abundance
or true prosperity, where people live in an increasingly equitable and harmonious society, locally and globally, deciding on rather than following economic rules, and not merely treading lightly on the earth, but protecting and restoring those systems that make life possible. Read “ABOUT” pdf docu at source here
mayflybooks.org – gg/pdf 2020 Degrowth & Strategy – how to bring about social-ecological transformation – Edited by Nathan Barlow, Livia Regen, Noémie Cadiou, Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Max Hollweg, Christina Plank, Merle Schulken and Verena Wolf
academia.edu / gg/pdf 2016 WHICH OF THE CURRENT DIVERSE IDEAS ON ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS ARE THE BEST FOR ADEQUATELY AND COMPREHENSIVELY ADDRESSING THE GREAT TRANSITION TO CLIMATE, ENERGY, AND BIODIVERSITY SUSTAINABILITY – by Jay C Beeks
>Green Economics, Climate change policy, Transdisciplinarity, Heterodox Economics, Environmental Sustainability, Buddhist Economics, Steady-State Economy, Degrowth, Ecological Economics, Evolution of Economics, Sustainable Lifestyles, Behavioral Change, Human Development, Evolution of Consciousness, Intentional Communities, Grassroots Movements, Alternative economics, Ecosocialism, Disparity in Distribution of Wealth
ABSTRACT – My dissertation addresses the need for an alternative system to capitalism, our mainstream system of economics, to support the necessities of a world facing countless ecological systems collapses, global climate change, and social inequity exacerbated by wealth disparity. Alternative economics is defined here as current economic or socioeconomic practices and theories that may redress the flaws in the current dominant global economic system, which is mainstream capitalism. The approach to this research is theoretical; that is, I analyze the current literature in the relevant areas of economics and related literature in the social sciences, philosophy, political economics, and environmental studies. I then attempt to generate new knowledge through the analysis, critique, extension, and integration of existing theories and by drawing on existing empirical research. This research is also transdisciplinary, an approach that transcends conventional disciplinary regimes and boundaries. The aim of this study is to ascertain the best alternatives to our current system of capitalism by examining the arguments for and against alternative economic or socioeconomic systems. The scope may embrace the complex and transdisciplinary, but it attempts to focus as narrowly as possible on the most promising ideas today concerning the imminent need for changing economics in the face of our global socio-environmental crises as being considered of high importance. The definitive goal of this research is to examine the most recent literature on these alternatives, and, based on this research, to identify which alternatives most suitably address the needs of our ecological systems, the needs of society, and the issue of global climate change. Keywords: alternative economics, heterodox economics, sustainability, compassionate economics, wealth disparity, ecosocialism economics, steady-state economics, climate change, transdisciplinary.
> DeGrowth, Sustainability
academia/gg pdf 2018 From (Strong) Sustainability to Degrowth: A Philosophical and Historical Reconstruction – by Barbara Muraca
By taking a militant-optimistic reading of Strong Sustainability, in the article sections we address the analysis of the concept of sustainability from the point of view of its normative potential as well as from the perspective of the economic controversy between weak and strong sustainability. We show how the more recent degrowth discourse, which (re)emerged in new fashion in the late 1990s as an alternative narrative to the established path of a sustainable development stands not only for a reappropriation of the sustainability idea in terms of strong sustainability, but also for a repoliticization of the sustainability discourse altogether. It is a vision of sustainability that looks quite different from sustainable development.
In a previous article we argued that modern economic systems require large quantities of raw materials and energy to run and generate equally large quantities of wastes and pollution. Technical efficiencies allow better use of resources per dollar of GDP but economic growth means that on aggregate more resources are required than before.
Sustainable development together with the circular economy and renewable energies are presented as a way out of this conundrum in order to allow the business as usual scenario to prevail. This arrangement is destined to fail as it is very difficult to put in place a circular economy and renewable energies cannot replace oil fully as transport energy. Sustainable development is a dead end that will lead many astray.
Instead, we should focus onto issues of sustainability. Etymologically, the word sustainable comes from the Latin word: sustinere which means to “hold and maintain things from below”. Indeed, what we want to sustain and maintain over the long term is human civilisation.
In our understanding, civilisation ought to be humane, cultured and sustainable. Let us see what we mean by those terms. A humane civilisation is one in which society acts so that individuals are able to meet their basic needs for food, water, energy, shelter and are granted a minimum of basic rights. A cultured civilisation is one that gives reasonable opportunities to its members to access the cultural resources available to it and that means its knowledge and skill bases, whether written or oral, formal or informal. A sustainable civilisation is one which does not undermine its own resource base via inconsiderate actions and short term thinking so characteristic of modern times.
Most readers will more or less agree with our definitions of a humane and cultured civilisation. Hence we shall focus on our understanding of what a sustainable civilisation is. For us this means a society which acts to ensure that (1) its food comes from agricultural and husbandry systems that do not deplete soil and do not depend on artificial fertilisers and that fisheries are not depleted, (2) its water resources stay clean and untainted by industrial systems, (3) its energy system depends on renewable energies, (4) all wastes, liquid or solid, commercial, industrial or domestic are recycled (5) its human population stays more or less constant and above all, (6) its population is not obsessed by the accumulation of wealth and power. Our incessant greed and desire for more wealth is at the core of our predicament. Accumulation of material wealth is incompatible with sustainability. This needs to be understood. As long as we do not address our greed and excessive wants, we are in a self defeating cycle of delusions based on wishful thinking fuelled by fantasies of sustainable development.
Conversely, sustainability does not mean to live as paupers in want and destitution, nor does it mean to live in austerity and self inflicted poverty. It means to strive for a balance between our legitimate needs and our desire for material comforts. It means to honestly re-assess our desire for more material goods.
Do we really need this latest electronic gadget with so much “apps” we shall never use? Do we really need this latest, trendy dress that we shall wear only a few times? Do we really want to travel by air to this far away place for a few days of stressful holidays? We really need to have a long hard look at our own personal consumption habits and see where we are satisfying reasonable needs or, in fact, just feeding the global machine of infinite economic growth. In so doing we might actually save some money and ease our financial burdens.
It bears saying that the path to sustainability is not only for Government or businesses to tread, citizens also are invited to travel down that road. Indeed, the commitment of citizens in changing their modes of consumption is an extremely potent force. Together, concerned citizens can overturn governmental and business practices by (1) buying goods and services that were generated in a more sustainable manner, (2) boycotting goods and services from businesses who fail to change, and (3) by ousting elected officials who promise a lot but deliver little. We should not underestimate the force of non violent collective action. On its own, collective action can change civilisations.
Indeed, civilisations which fail to respond adequately to existential challenges in due time inevitably decline and collapse. In the past, civilisations came and went for a number of reasons. For instance, it is highly probable that both the Roman Western Empire and the Central American Mayan Empire declined and collapsed in part due to environmental reasons, having depleted their agricultural bases and failed to respond adequately. In due time, ours will probably overshoot its main resource bases in terms of fossil energy and agriculture lands. If it fails to respond to the changing circumstances, it will enter decline and face collapse.
However, there are examples of civilisations which just about managed to avoid complete collapse and re-emerge sooner or later. The Egyptian and Chinese civilisations are prime examples. Both of them managed to avoid destroying completely their main resource base which was agriculture, thereby enabling another round of civilisation later on.
We need to do the same: maintain our agricultural base more or less functional so that we can rebound in due time (although re-mergence of a civilisation after collapse may take decades or a few centuries!). Alas, this is exactly what we are not doing. Due to technological prowess, our civilisation behaves as if it could grow indefinitely; perpetually find cheap substitutes for all its material and energy needs and use nature as dumping grounds for ever. Our modern industrial civilisation is hell bent on growth for ever with scant regard for the environment and resources. This type of thinking is leading us straight into the swamps of decline. Humanity will nevertheless emerge on the other side of these swamps but at high costs to people and the environment. We have indeed entered an age of consequences.
Karim Jaufeerally – Institute for Environmental Studies – I am interested in the sustainability of civilisations and I attempt to raise issues on the matter. Please do not hesitate to send me your comments. I can be reached by email on: email@example.com –
selected comments (with links):
Hi Karim, I agree with much that you write, but I believe we need to design ways for transitions to occur. You might find some useful ideas in one of my articles. Here is a recent one, but you will find others at Resilience.org – thisviewoflife.com – resilience.org/resilience Helen Camakaris
Hi Karim, Thanks for this piece that is well written and to the point. The difficulty is ‘what do we do then?’. We’ve set up the Sustainability and Climate Change Programme (SCCP) at Universite des Mascareignes to deal with the complexity of issues that you’ve raised (by no means very easy!). The SCCP has been 18 months in the making and we launched it on 14 July 2022. It is based on three inter-related approaches, namely: (i) systems thinking (and system dynamics modeling); (ii) transdisciplinarity; and (iii) inclusiveness in co-creation. The website that is still under construction is: udm.ac.mu/sccp Sanju Deenapanray
Hi Karim, Thanks for this short but very sweet paper. I”m connecting what you say to two things. One is the constancy of change that makes sustainability a mere mirage. The other is the simplicity and durability of the Maasai paradigm that permeates their culture and history and that has sustained them as an entity. intact, for at least 500 years that we know of. You can find some of my work on that subject here on Academia.edu. I have an article that should be in print this month in Kai Kresse’s edited volume entitled ‘African Sage Philosophy Revisited” or something like that. My article is entitled ‘The Collective Sage: Maasai something something etc etc,”. Sorry I can’t send you a copy of the article until the book is out. I work with my husband Odoch and our co-author, Martin Khamala. I hope we can stay n touch because all of us are looking from the outside at the devastation caused by the greed and entitlement of non-Africans. I’m looking forward to a time when all four of us become as famous as Dennis Rodman and we won’t have to put our names anywhere on o9ur work! All the Best Donna Pido
Your comments are directed at the right aspect of the right issues, those that matter most to a human future, and especially a future of the future. I recently criticized an American Science and Technology University, or so they market themselves as such, for emphasizing their being “sustainable while teaching sustainability.” It was on LinkedIn. I posed comments on them seeming to fall in line with many organizations seeming to knew little about the science, humanity and probability of such. Their printed logic showed them to be one more hollow marketing campaign to attract youth to learning how to become hopeless. Sad but typical these days. My past research on the subject of climate change came from architecture and city planning (emphasis was on Mayan Culture of Yucatan via working on their digs in 1969), and then a PhD in systems sciences via an international project in 1975-77 on why humans would not be capable of regulating forthcoming conditions of climate change. The above is in a 2022 republished book as written in 1979. The problems in “now what” are forthcoming in: “Short-term Gains, Long-term Pain.” Like your concluding point on consequences. I have argued, as a dean of a business school, that the business based MBA degree needs to be replaced with a Masters in Consequential Management. David Hawk
I agree very much with your premise. Sustainable capitalism is an oxymoron as its sole focus is material growth, and you pointed that out succinctly in your opening lines. It is for that reason I co-founded systemschangealliance.org We need systems change, which means an economy that is eco-centered, focuses on fulfilling basic needs, not optimum greed, as well as being regenerative, decentralized, and cooperative. In other words, growth needs to occur in culture and wellbeing rather than in creating more material stuff. All the best with your paper. Roar Ramesh Bjonnes
Hi Karim The concept of sustainability is as old as a civilisation. Today an average citizen is very interested in the long-term survival of his family and the environment. This cannot be said about people who run this civilisation. They obviously have another agenda and this is our tragedy. Unfortunately, someone at the top of Earth’s pyramid of power is bent on continuing destruction of the environment and mining of our resources as if there was no tomorrow. I write about these issues in my papers, for example the latest one: ‘Future of Democracy’ (published on Academia). Thanks for raising this issue again. Danuta S Nowak
academia.edu/gg/pdf 2022 Sustainable entropic local development: the win – win – win model by Leonidas Papakonstantinidis
phys.org/news/ 4-2022 Consumers should cut new clothes purchases by 75% to make wardrobes sustainable – If things don’t change fast, the fashion industry could use a quarter of the world’s remaining global carbon budget to keep warming under 2℃ by 2050, and use 35% more land to produce fibres by 2030 – by Samantha Sharpe, Monique Retamal and Taylor Brydges
nature.com/ 5/8/2021 Six modes of co-production for sustainability – by Josephine M. Chambers, Carina Wyborn, Tomas Pickering
Abstract: The promise of co-production to address complex sustainability challenges is compelling. Yet, co-production, the collaborative weaving of research and practice, encompasses diverse aims, terminologies and practices, with poor clarity over their implications. To explore this diversity, we systematically mapped differences in how 32 initiatives from 6 continents co-produce diverse outcomes for the sustainable development of ecosystems at local to global scales. We found variation in their purpose for utilizing co-production, understanding of power, approach to politics and pathways to impact. A cluster analysis identified six modes of co-production: (1) researching solutions; (2) empowering voices; (3) brokering power; (4) reframing power; (5) navigating differences and (6) reframing agency. No mode is ideal; each holds unique potential to achieve particular outcomes, but also poses unique challenges and risks. Our analysis provides a heuristic tool for researchers and societal actors to critically explore this diversity and effectively navigate trade-offs when co-producing sustainability.
scmp.com 6/2021 Sustainable economics and how the idea that policies should consider human happiness changed the life of an entrepreneur Richard Lord
Peggy Choi, founder and CEO of Lynk, read E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered when contemplating a career change. ‘It made me realise there was another version of a world view out there,’ she says …
>Social Movements, History of Economic Thought, Transnational History, Ivan Illich, Alternative Economies, Environmental Sustainability, DeGrowth, Comparative Historical Analysis, Georgescu-Roegen
“In September 2014, more than 3,000 people from all around the world gathered at the University of Leipzig for the 4th International Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity. Bringing together academics spanning multiple disciplines – mostly from the social sciences, economics, and humanities, but also engineers and natural scientists – as well as practitioners working on bottom-up alternative economies and social activists involved in struggles around ecology, social justice, or globalization, this conference represented the provisional climax of the international degrowth debate. The Leipzig conference marked a significant step for what is increasingly called the inter- national degrowth movement: it brought into dialogue different streams and traditions of growth critique and laid the ground for a stronger international network and for alliances with other movements (Brand 2014; Eversberg and Schmelzer 2016). Yet, how did the degrowth movement emerge and what historical roots and inspirations does it invoke? …
The future of economic growth is one of the decisive questions of the twenty-first century. Alarmed by declining growth rates in industrialized countries, climate change, and rising socio-economic inequalities, among other challenges, more and more people demand to look for alternatives beyond growth. However, so far these current debates about sustainability, post-growth or degrowth lack a thorough historical perspective.
This edited volume brings together original contributions on different aspects of the history of economic growth as a central and near-ubiquitous tenet of developmental strategies. The book addresses the origins and evolution of the growth paradigm from the seventeenth century up to the present day and also looks at sustainable development, sustainable growth, and degrowth as examples of alternative developmental models. By focusing on the mixed legacy of growth, both as a major source of expanded life expectancies and increased comfort, and as a destructive force harming personal livelihoods and threatening entire societies in the future, the editors seek to provide historical depth to the ongoing discussion on suitable principles of present and future global development. History of the Future of Economic Growth is aimed at students and academics in environmental, social, economic and international history, political science, environmental studies, and economics, as well as those interested in ongoing discussions about growth, sustainable development, degrowth, and, more generally, the future. …”
INTRODUCTION – Economic growth of about 2-3% per year is a primary policy goal of most modern governments in industrialised countries. Lower rates of growth are viewed in a negative light, often resulting in policies designed to stimulate the economy. This was clearly demonstrated around the world in response to the global financial crisis of 2008 (e.g. Draaisma, 2008).The size of the economy is typically measured using Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is the total expenditure on all final goods and services produced within the physical borders of a country over the course of a year (Goodwin et al., 2009 p. 56). The popularity of economic growth as a policy goal is a relatively recent phenomenon. Prior to World War II, industrial nations did not maintain sophisticated systems of national accounts with indicators like GDP, and were therefore unable to track the level of economic activity, let alone attempt to maximise it. Gross National Product (GNP) the precursor to GDP was largely developed as a way to maximise wartime production. It was highly successful in this regard, and may have even helped the Allies win the war. Following the war, the Employment Act of 1946 turned the GNP and the theory it embodied into official policy in the United States (Cobb et al., 1995). An era of economic growth quickly followed as the U.S. and other nations attempted to increase the new quantity that they were nowmeasuring.In the late 1960s and early 1970s a number of critical authors pointed at runaway economic growth as the underlying cause of the increasing environmental problems that were becoming apparent at the time. Future growth would be limited, they argued, due to the depletion of natural resources and the exhaustion of environmental sinks to absorb pollution (e.g. Boulding, 1966; Daly, 1968;Georgescu-Roegen, 1971; Meadows et al., 1972). Such claims were largely refuted by mainstream economists (e.g. Barnett and Morse, 1963; Solow, 1988, 1974). Reflecting these incompatible views, the
Brundtland Report’s (WCED, 1987) definition of sustainable development was left rather ambiguous, possibly to gain widespread support for the concept (Costanza et al., 1997).Strong and weak definitions of sustainability have been brought forward (Neumayer, 2003), but the underlying paradigms never openly challenged and discussed. This unresolved contradiction has also been criticised as the false consensus of sustainable development (Hornborg, 2009), as an oxymoron (Redclift, 2005; Sachs, 2000) or as the attempt to ‘sustain the unsustainable’ (Blühdorn, 2007).Today, more than ever, growth draws a rather clear line of division in the sustainability community,with the mainstream discourse firmly defending the possibility of greening the economy and greening growth (EC, 2010; OECD, 2011; UNEP, 2011; World Bank, 2008) while critics argued that growth and sustainability are fundamentally incompatible. Almost three decades have passed since the Brundtland Report was released, and yet our social, economic and environmental problems keep increasing, at times disproportionally with the growing global economy. These worrying trends are described in dozens of reports and scientific papers by concerned scientists(e.g. Haberl et al., 2011; Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Roc kström et al., 2009; Stockholm Memorandum, 2011). It comes as no surprise then that opposition to the mainstream position has also been on the rise (e.g. Jackson, 2009; Latouche, 2009; Victor, 2008), most notably with proponents of degrowth and the steady state economy. We shall first explore the history and main arguments of the mainstream growth paradigm in relation to sustainability and will then proceed to describe the degrowth and steady state economy views.
Danijela Dolenec, Mladen Domazet and Branko Ančić investigate the correlations between levels of inequality within the said European countries and personal concern, activation and sacrifice commitments within their populations. They expand the models and instruments from the article “Prosperity and environmental sacrifice in Europe: Importance of income for sustainability-orientation” with measures of social inequality and international indicators of material deprivation. Whilst acknowledging the strong influence of income in support for environmental conservation among general population, this chapter exposes the fallacy behind the expectation that only affluent European societies hold value orientations important for the switch to sustainability.
> Climate Change, Sustainable Development, Corporate Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Social sustainability, Green Growth, Ecological Modernisation, Earth Charter, Climate Change Economics, Sustainable Economic Growth, Environmental Discourses
Abstract: This thesis demonstrates, in Chapter 1, that there is significant scientific evidence that the current formof global economic development is unsustainable. Whilst much of the general public assume that concerns and debates about the sustainability of development are relatively new, Chapter 2 shows that concerns debates about the sustainability of development have a long history. This thesis shows in
Chapter 2 and 3 that debates about the sustainability of development have significantly mattered to the course of modern human history and quality of life for over a hundred years. This thesis, in Chapter 2, shows that, by 1909, that enough of the key understandings and ideas and enough new emerging technologies needed to define and pursue purposefully sustainable development were known. Chapter 3 considers what have been some of the major barriers to sustainable development. An historical perspective is used to help explain why so little progress has been made on many of the sustainability debates over the last hundred years. Chapter 3 shows that one of the main barriers to the implementation of sustainability has been vested interests and their sustainability blocking coalitions which have been very effective in preventing governments from progressing sustainability policy. The thesis shows that it is rare for purposeful sustainability policy and institutional reform ever to occur
without a fight from those vested interests, who either will be, or perceive that they will be, negatively effected. This thesis seeks to offer a resource with information and strategies to help address and overcome such vested interests and their blocking coalitions. Chapter 3 shows how there are patterns to how these sustainability blocking coalitions seek to undermine and prevent progress on sustainable development. Chapter 3 provides an historical perspective which shows that these blocking coalitions have sought to stall progress on sustainable development by arguing that sustainable development will harm business competitiveness, economic growth and lead to job losses. Thus this thesis focuses on these centrally important sustainability debates about whether achieving the goal of sustainable development will help or harm business competitiveness/profitability and economic growth and led to job losses. The thesis also focuses on these centrally important sustainability debates because the issue of whether or not economic growth and sustainable development can be compatible goes to the heart of the sustainability debates initiated by Limits to Growth in 1972 and further developed by the Brundtland Report, Our Common Future. This thesis also focuses on these debates because they are at the heart of differences between the key environmental discourses as shown by Dryzek in his 1997 publication The Politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses. These “growth debates” are also important because they address the key claim of ecological modernisation. As Dryzek stated “Much of its (ecological modernisation’s) appeal lies in its promise that “we can have it all: economic growth, environmental conservation, social justice”. This thesis examines in Chapters 5-8 whether we can indeed have it all as described by Dryzek. The key hypothesis of this thesis is whether or not environmental protection, economic growth and social justice can be compatible and under what conditions is the achievement of this compatibility most likely? The intent of this thesis is to make a substantial advance on this question. In so doing the thesis seeks to make a significant contribution to discussions on whether or not it is possible to achieve “Green Growth”? This thesis defines the range of goals for environmental and social sustainability to create a sustainable society based on the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter is chosen as a comprehensive list of sustainability goals because of the extensive global process under which it was created and reviewed. The thesis investigates to what extent pursuing the environmental and social sustainability goals of the Earth Charter correlate with economic growth? This thesis acknowledges that the implementation of some aspects of the Earth Charter will involve significant investment costs and harm economy growth but the thesis shows that the implementation of many of the other goals of the Earth Charter positively correlate with economic growth better than “business as usual.” A key finding of the thesis is that, whilst a transition to sustainable development will involve upfront investment, social and political costs, numerous studies now show that these costs of early action will be far less than the costs of
inaction. Such studies show now that, lack of action on major sustainability issues like climate change and peak oil significantly threaten long term global economic growth. Thus the thesis demonstrates that there is potential for the implementation of sustainable development,
wisely applied, to result in better social and environmental outcomes in every respect whilst still ensuring strong economic growth this century and beyond. Hence the conclusion of this thesis is that social justice, environmental protection and economic growth can be compatible through the necessary political will, with active and meaningful business and community engagement, underpinned by purposeful sustainability policy and educational reform. This conclusion is contested by a number of academics who blame economic growth for the current environmental crisis and social ills This thesis responds to these academics by arguing that the current unsustainable nature of economic growth is a symptom of more fundamental causes and drivers of un!sustainability. This thesis argues that the current form of economic growth is unsustainable due to market, informational and institutional failures, rebound effects, a failure to mainstream sustainable design, rising global population plus a rapid expansion of unsustainable western consumption patterns globally. This thesis argues that, only by recognising this and focusing on the necessary changes needed to mainstream sustainability design, education, policy and institutional changes can the current unsustainable forms of development be turned around to become sustainable. Once it is understand that economic growth per se is not the problem then this helps to clarify what society needs to focus on to achieve the goal of sustainable development. This thesis argues that if we make the mistake of simplistically blaming economic growth for the current unsustainable form of economic growth then this plays into the hands of anti! sustainability blocking coalitions main argument, namely that social and environmental sustainability initiative will harm the economy too much and are therefore too costly to undertake. This thesis, by clearly differentiating between economic and physical growth, focuses on how best to decouple economic growth from negative social and environmental pressures. This thesis demonstrates that it is possible to cost effectively achieve significant decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures including greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, freshwater withdrawal, air pollution,
waste and hazardous waste production. This thesis thus seeks, by providing significant evidence for decoupling, to help move the “growth”
debates forward and encourage a focus on what changes to technology and design, what changes to policy and institutions will lead to a significant and cost effective decoupling. This thesis brings together literature in Chapters 4!8 which demonstrates that there exists still, twenty years on from the publication of Our Common Future, significant potential to decouple economic growth from physical
throughput and environmental pressures through eco!efficiencies, eco!innovation, whole system design, sustainable consumption and policy and institutional change. The thesis seeks to show that such decoupling can be a useful part of broader strategy to achieve sustainable development as long as rebound effects are minimised through effective policy. This thesis brings together much new evidence to support this hypothesis that a “green” form of economic growth can be achieved.3 Having said that it is beyond the scope of one thesis to provide a complete overview of all the technological, sustainable consumption and policy advances which will assist nations achieve decoupling. Hence this thesis provides a sample of technical, sustainable consumption and policy advances whilst referencing much more comprehensive sustainable technology and policy publications. This thesis presents a broad, integrated approach, bringing the three pillars of sustainability ! environment, society and
economy ! more closely together than in much other work, and supports this with a new synthesis of empirical evidence. The thesis also presents an overview of the case that to date there has been significant underinvestment in key social sustainability goals such as poverty reduction and mounts the case or greater levels of such investment by demonstrating their positive effects from a humanitarian and economic point of view.
This thesis is grounded theoretically in the tradition of “strong” ecological modernisation. This thesis shows how a stronger form of ecological modernisation can assist to advance and resolve longstanding sustainability debates. Finally, this thesis is not simply theoretical. As part of the practice of the thesis, the author has co!founded in 2002 a sustainability think tank, The Natural Edge Project (TNEP) (www.naturaledgeproject.net). This think tank has put into practice many of the operational actions, such as improving education for sustainable development, recommended by this thesis to help create conditions within which ecological modernization is more likely to progress in Australia.
bbc.co.uk 2021 Amazon-dwellers lived sustainably for 5,000 years
pnas.org 2021 Our data support previous research indicating that considerable areas of some Amazonian tierra firme forests were not significantly impacted by human activities during the prehistoric era. Rather, it appears that over the last 5,000 y, indigenous populations in this region coexisted with, and helped maintain, large expanses of relatively unmodified forest, as they continue to do today. by D.R. Piperno, C.H. McMichael, N. C. A. Pitman, J. E. G. Andino, M. R. Paredes, B. M. Heijink, L. A. Torres-Montenegro
eco-business.com/ 6/2021 Launching a new movement for sustainability innovation: IxSA by Sonia Sambhi
Realising that prevailing methods for innovating don’t work well for sustainability, 50 practitioners have come together to establish IxSA, the first-of-its-kind network and manifesto for sustainability innovation.
news.climate.columbia.edu 2020 Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability by Steve Cohen There are political and business leaders who do not care if economic growth causes environmental damage and there are environmental advocates who do not believe you can have economic growth without causing environmental damage. In a New York Times piece on the climate and economics discussions at Davos, Mark Landler and Somini Sengupta reported that:
“Critics pointed to a contradiction that they said the corporate world had been unable to resolve: how to assuage the appetite for economic growth, based on gross domestic product, with the urgent need to check carbon emissions. “It’s truly a contradiction,” said Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “It’s difficult to see if the current G.D.P.-based model of economic growth can go hand-in-hand with rapid cutting of emissions,” he said.”
I find this dialogue a little amazing since it completely ignores the history of America’s success in decoupling the growth of GDP and the growth of environmental pollution. This fact of American environmental and economic life began around 1980, a decade after the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and continues today. It’s really quite simple: with public policies ranging from command-and-control regulations to direct and indirect government subsidies, businesses and governments developed and applied technologies that reduced pollution while allowing continued economic growth. This is not a fantasy, it is history. …”
greenmatch.co.uk 2015 Overcoming the Challenges of Sustainability – Our favourite bloggers share their stories
academia.edu pdf 2014 Resources Wastes Enough is Enough Ideas for a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources The Report of the Steady State Economy Conference … 4. Reform the Monetary System
Why? Almost all of the money in circulation in the UK is created by private banks in the form of interest-bearing loans. Banks are able to create money because they can issue loans far in excess of their deposits. This debt-based monetary system drives four things: (1) economic growth, as the need to pay back an increasing amount of debt requires an increasing amount of economic activity, (2) inflation, as the money supply tends to increase faster than the volume of goods and services produced, (3) instability, because if the banks stop lending, the economic system collapses, and (4) inequality between countries, as the currencies of a small number of nations have become the dominant “reserve currencies” around the world. If the economy is to be stabilised, then the money supply must be as well.
How? Private banks should be prohibited from creating money out of thin air, and control of the money supply — a public resource — should be transferred to a public authority such as the Bank of England. This public authority should decide the amount of money necessary to facilitate exchange in the economy, create it debtfree, and transfer it to the government to spend into existence. To prevent inflation, government taxation and expenditure should be linked to the system of money creation. At the same time, communities should be encouraged to create their own currencies to support local economic activity, and the UK should promote and participate in a global negotiation to create a neutral international currency to replace the reserve currencies in use today.
5. Change the Way We Measure Progress
Why? The main economic indicator in use today is gross domestic product (GDP). GDP is a good measure of economic activity — of money changing hands — but a poor measure of progress or well-being. It lumps desirable expenditures (e.g. spending on food, entertainment, or investment in education) with undesirable expenditures (e.g. the costs of war, crime, pollution, and family breakdown). New indicators that do a better job of tracking what we truly care about are required to supplement or even replace GDP.
How? A new system of indicators should be created that separates ends (i.e. goals) from means (i.e. the way to achieve these goals). The key goal to strive towards in a steady state economy would be sustainable and equitable human well-being, instead of GDP growth (which is only one means towards this end). The set of indicators should include three groups: the environment, the economic system, and human well-being. Each group should include one headline indicator and a number of detailed sub-indicators. Potential headline indicators for each group include: …”…
nature.com 1/2021 Mobilizing the past to shape a better Anthropocene Nature Ecology & Evolution vol 5 – ed by Nicole Boivin, Alison Crowther
Abstract – As our planet emerges into a new epoch in which humans dominate the Earth system, it is imperative that societies initiate a new phase of responsible environmental stewardship. Here we argue that information from the past has a valuable role to play in enhancing the sustainability and resilience of our societies. We highlight the ways that past data can be mobilized for a variety of efforts, from supporting conservation to increasing agricultural sustainability and food security. At a practical level, solutions from the past often do not require fossil fuels, can be locally run and managed, and have been tested over the long term. Past failures reveal non-viable solutions and expose vulnerabilities. To more effectively leverage increasing knowledge about the past, we advocate greater cross-disciplinary collaboration, systematic engagement with stakeholders and policymakers, and approaches that bring together the best of the past with the cutting-edge technologies and solutions of tomorrow.
Is_it_possible_to_achieve_a_good_life_for all within planetary boundaries? 2019 by Jason Nickel
ABSTRACT – The safe and just space framework devised by Raworth calls for the world’s nations to achieve key minimum thresholds in social welfare while remaining within planetary boundaries. Using data on social and biophysical indicators provided by O’Neill et al., this paper argues that it is theoretically possible to achieve a good life for all within planetary boundaries in poor nations by building on existing exemplary models and by adopting fairer distributive policies. However, the additional biophysical pressure that this entails at a global level requires that rich nations dramatically reduce their biophysical footprints by 40–50%. Extant empirical studies suggest that this degree of reduction is unlikely to be achieved solely through efforts to decouple GDP growth from environmental impact, even under highly optimistic conditions. Therefore, for rich nations to fit within the boundaries of the safe and just space will require that they abandon growth as a policy objective and shift to post-capitalist economic models.
academia.eu read or download pdf here 2013 Post-growth policy instruments Peter Ferguson This paper proposes a framework to evaluate post-growth policy instruments which gauges their capacity to lessen the pressure for growth emanating from the labour market and the state’s contradictory legitimisation and accumulation imperatives, whilst increasing societal well-being and reducing the biophysical throughput of the economy. It is argued that the most effective policies to do this are measures to reduce average working hours, expand low productivity sectors and reduce inequality. Specific policies instruments include public sector expansion and the promotion of cooperatives, the introduction of citizens’ basic income schemes, environmental tax reform, the abolition of fossil fuel subsidies, reforms to monetary policy, financial regulatory reform and the introduction of alternative measures of progress to gross domestic product
academia.edu 2019 Towards a ‘New’ Political Arithmetic – An assessment of the indicators of sustainable development by Joni Karjalainen
This study examines the urge to construct indicators of sustainable development that has been outlined in the Agenda 21 of the Rio Earth Summit 1992, re-expressed in the Rio+20 Declaration “The Future We Want” in 2012, and discussed in the work by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (2009). An indicator of sustainable development (SDI) is a measure expected to signal whether a society is on a sustainable path, or not, by organising large data sets into easily readable illustrations for the purposes of policy-makers. The study positions into the earlier work of sociologists of science and philosophers such as Hacking and Latour who have aimed to understand the contexts in which knowledge is formed. For policymakers and the wider public, understanding the limitations of these different measurement approaches can be beneficial. This study suggests that SDIs can be considered analogous to evidence-based autonomous models that can be framed in various ways. One-dimensional indicators select a single bottom-line against which other considerations are judged; composite SDIs typically aim to balance environmental, social and economic considerations; and monetary-based indicators attempt to incorporate ecological and social losses into economic costs. Depending on the choice of approach, a SDI may either adhere to the principle of ‘strong sustainability’ according to which no ecological harm is acceptable, or ‘weak sustainability’ that accepts substitutability between different types of capital, including the loss of natural capital. However, a general weakness of several SDIs has been their inability to signal when ecological thresholds are crossed. Under energy and resource constraints, these efforts reflect an aspiration, borrowing the terms of seventeenth century political economists, the need to explore means towards a ‘new’ political arithmetic. This study aims to observe what choices researchers and political institutions have and have made in adapting to the realities of climate change and other ecological constraints. The study will argue that the depiction of ‘sustainable development’ may be a worthy ideal but for measurement purposes of actual ecological or social thresholds, a notion of multiple meanings has challenged the work of scientists who have been unable to agree over a ‘proper’ indicator.
academia.edu/ 2019 Overcoming the Myths of Mainstream Economics to Enable a New Wellbeing Economy 2019 by Lars Fogh Mortensen, Ida Kubiszewski , Robert Costanza
Increasingly, empirical evidence refutes many of the theoretical pillars of mainstream economics. These theories have persisted despite the fact that they support unsustainable and undesirable environmental, social, and economic outcomes. Continuing to embrace them puts at risk the possibility of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and overcoming other global challenges. We discuss a selection of paradoxes and delusions surrounding mainstream economic theories related to: (1) efficiency and resource use, (2) wealth and wellbeing, (3) economic growth, and (4) the distribution of wealth within and between rich and poor nations. We describe a wellbeing economy as an alternative for guiding policy development. In 2018, a network of Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo), (supported by, but distinct from, the larger Wellbeing Economy Alliance-WEAll) promoting new forms of governance that diverge from the ones on which the G7 and G20 are based, has been launched and is now a living project. Members of WEGo aim at advancing the three key principles of a wellbeing economy: Live within planetary ecological boundaries, ensure equitable distribution of wealth and opportunity, and efficiently allocate resources (including environmental and social public goods), bringing wellbeing to the heart of policymaking, and in particular economic policymaking. This network has potential to fundamentally reshape current global leadership still anchored to old economic paradigms that give primacy to economic growth over environmental and social wealth and wellbeing.
academia.edu 2011 What kind of growth is sustainable? A presentation of arguments by Elke Pirgmaier, Friedrich Hinterberger
Economic growth has been a success story. Over the last 50 years millions of people in the Western world and lately also in the emerging economies have become wealthy. Many people today enjoy health and living standards their parents could not have imagined. Growth has delivered benefits for the last decades but today unintended negative side-effects become increasingly apparent. Many people in affluent countries no longer feel the benefits of further growth. People increasingly feel insecure about their jobs, pensions and savings. Often they suffer from workrelated stress and have difficulties to balance family and job. In addition the natural environment deteriorates rapidly. Climate change and biodiversity loss are amongst the biggest threats to modern civilisation. Books such as ‘100 animals to see before they die’ sadly illustrate the trend. The affluent world still has many problems (unemployment, budget deficits) not to speak from the problems people suffer in the rest of the world (hunger, wars, dictatorships etc.), but apparently form an economic perspective, there seems to be only one contribution to the solution: economic growth. In political and economic circles, high growth rates are commonly still considered an essential prerequisite for our future development. There are many pro and beyond growth arguments and the debate about the limits to growth is getting of age. Throughout the last 40 years most arguments remained the same, but the way they are being debated in the political and scientific communities is in flux. Dennis Meadows, one of the founders of this debate, described the evolution of the opposition to limits to growth in four phases:
- 1970s: There are no limits.
- 1980s: There might be limits, but they are far away.
- 1990s: The limits might not be too far away, but the market will solve the problem.
- 2000s: The markets might not function, but technology will save us.
This development indicates a tendency to postpone the limits to or quality of growth debate. Due to differing world views and visions for the future of politicians and citizens, scientific paradigms and vested interests, the debate has not reached significant scientific and societal consensus
Recently the discussion has reached a new stage. Today, many argue that a continued focus on economic growth alone in rich countries may jeopardise our future development. Key questions against this background are: Does economic growth still help solving problems we face (such as unemployment, rising poverty, the destruction of natural resources) or is economic growth rather the cause of these problems? And what options do we have for a different kind of growth? The following presentation of arguments aims to provide stimulus for this discussion. It serves to equip its readers from public administration to politics, science, research and civil society, with prevailing and often used arguments relating to the growth debate. The purpose of this article is to offer a rationale, that is, to present a basket of arguments which are useful to keep in What kind of growth is sustainable?
The arguments are not meant to provide definite answers – neither public nor scientific debate has reached a conclusion yet; they are sometimes provoking and one-sided in order to spur debate. Overall, however, we intend to present a broad range of arguments around the theme. And we do not focus on the global dimension of the issue – growth in emerging and developing economies – but will certainly treat them as a significant factor in the general set-up. The presentation of arguments is structured in seven sections with seven lines of arguments each. We start with defining seven terms that are important for our presentation (section 1). We then present seven reasons that are frequently brought forward for a ‘need’ of economic growth in modern societies (section 2) before we deal with the negative aspects often described as consequences of growth (section 3). But apart from these reasons why people call for or against economic growth we will ask and explain the drivers of growth – and why it is slowing down. Therefore, chapter 4 explains seven ‘engines’ of growth and chapter 5 explains why these engines weaken. Following from this analysis, we propose seven ideas how a more qualitative growth – or a growth of quality – could look like (section 6) before we come forward with conclusions (section 7) read or download paper at academia.edu
academia.edu 2010 Resources Wastes Enough is Enough Ideas for a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources The Report of the Steady State Economy Conference Robert Sweetman
voguebusiness.com 4/2021 The flawed ways brands talk about sustainability – Companies are busy announcing sustainability initiatives, but even experts don’t know what’s real and what’s fake. – BY Alden Wicker
- Consumers and experts alike say it’s difficult to know which brands truly meet higher ethical standards while greenwashing remains an industry-wide concern.
- Corporate social responsibility reporting has improved, with Kering and Adidas considered fashion industry leaders.
- Coronavirus and impending potential layoffs of millions of garment workers worldwide raise new questions about the extent to which brands are responsible for the workers in their supply chains.
In August, the Norwegian Consumer Authority called H&M out for greenwashing. …
academiad gg/pdf 2015 Degrowth: between a scientific concept and a slogan for a social movement – by Panos Petridis, Barbara Muraca, Giorgos Kallis
elgaronline.com 2015 Handbook of Ecological Economics – Edited by Joan Martínez-Alier and Roldan Muradian
This Handbook provides an overview of major current debates, trends and perspectives in ecological economics. It covers a wide range of issues, such as the foundations of ecological economics, deliberative methods, the de-growth movement, ecological macroeconomics, social metabolism, environmental governance, consumer studies, knowledge systems and new experimental approaches. Written by leading authors in their respective areas of specialisation, the contributions systematize the “state of the art” in the selected topics, and draw insights about new knowledge frontiers.
academia.eu 2018 “Ecological distribution conflicts as forces for sustainability: an overview and conceptual framework” By Arnim Scheidel, Leah Temper, Federico Demaria and Joan Martínez-Alier
Can ecological distribution conflicts turn into forces for sustainability? This overview paper addresses in a systematic conceptual manner the question of why, through whom, how, and when conflicts over the use of the environment may take an active role in shaping transitions toward sustainability. It presents a conceptual framework that schematically maps out the linkages between (a) patterns of (unsustainable) social metabolism, (b) the emergence of ecological distribution conflicts, (c) the rise of environmental justice movements, and (d) their potential contributions for sustainability transitions. The ways how these four processes can influence each other are multi-faceted and often not a foretold story. Yet, ecological distribution conflicts can have an important role for sustainability, because they relentlessly bring to light conflicting values over the environment as well as unsustainable resource uses affecting people and the planet. Environmental justice movements, born out of such conflicts, become key actors in politicizing such unsustainable resource uses, but moreover, they take sometimes also radical actions to stop them. By drawing on creative forms of mobilizations and diverse repertoires of action to effectively reduce unsustainabilities, they can turn from ‘victims’ of environmental injustices into ‘warriors’ for sustainability. But when will improvements in sustainability be lasting? By looking at the overall dynamics between the four processes, we aim to foster a more systematic understanding of the dynamics and roles of ecological distribution conflicts within sustainability processes.
academia.edu 2009 Advancing_and_Resolving_the Great Sustainability Debates and Discourses – Resolving the “Growth versus Sustainability Debates” through “Green Growth/Decoupling” to Progress the “Climate Change Debates” M H Smith
Abstract – This thesis demonstrates, in Chapter 1, that there is significant scientific evidence that the current formof global economic development is unsustainable. Whilst much of the general public assume thatconcerns and debates about the sustainability of development are relatively new, Chapter 2 shows thatconcerns debates about the sustainability of development have a long history. This thesis shows inChapter 2 and 3 that debates about the sustainability of development have significantly mattered to thecourse of modern human history and quality of life for over a hundred years.
This thesis, in Chapter 2,shows that, by 1909, that enough of the key understandings and ideas and enough new emergingtechnologies needed to define and pursue purposefully sustainable development were known. Chapter3 considers what have been some of the major barriers to sustainable development. An historical perspective is used to help explain why so little progress has been made on many of the sustainabilitydebates over the last hundred years.
Chapter 3 shows that one of the main barriers to theimplementation of sustainability has been vested interests and their sustainability blocking coalitionswhich have been very effective in preventing governments from progressing sustainability policy. Thethesis shows that it is rare for purposeful sustainability policy and institutional reform ever to occurwithout a fight from those vested interests, who either will be, or perceive that they will be, negativelyeffected. This thesis seeks to offer a resource with information and strategies to help address andovercome such vested interests and their blocking coalitions.Chapter 3 shows how there are patterns to how these sustainability blocking coalitions seek toundermine and prevent progress on sustainable development.
Chapter 3 provides an historical perspective which shows that these blocking coalitions have sought to stall progress on sustainabledevelopment by arguing that sustainable development will harm business competitiveness, economicgrowth and lead to job losses. Thus this thesis focuses on these centrally important sustainabilitydebates about whether achieving the goal of sustainable development will help or harm businesscompetitiveness/profitability and economic growth and led to job losses.The thesis also focuses on these centrally important sustainability debates because the issue of whether or not economic growth and sustainable development can be compatible goes to the heart of the sustainability debates initiated by Limits to Growth in 1972 and further developed by the Brundtland Report, Our Common Future. This thesis also focuses on these debates because they are at the heart of differences between the key environmental discourses as shown by Dryzek in his 1997 publication The Politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses. These “growth debates” are also important because they address the key claim of ecological modernisation. As Dryzek stated “Much of its (ecological modernisation’s) appeal lies in its promise that “we can have it all: economic growth, environmental conservation, social justice”
This thesis examines in Chapters 5-8 whether we can indeed have it all as described by Dryzek. The key hypothesis of this thesis is whether or not environmental protection, economic growth and social justice can be compatible and under what conditions is the achievement of this compatibilitymost likely? The intent of this thesis is to make a substantial advance on this question. In so doing thethesis seeks to make a significant contribution to discussions on whether or not it is possible to achieve“Green Growth”?
This thesis defines the range of goals for environmental and social sustainability to create a sustainablesociety based on the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter is chosen as a comprehensive list ofsustainability goals because of the extensive global process under which it was created and reviewed.The thesis investigates to what extent pursuing the environmental and social sustainability goals of theEarth Charter correlate with economic growth? This thesis acknowledges that the implementation ofsome aspects of the Earth Charter will involve significant investment costs and harm economy growth but the thesis shows that the implementation of many of the other goals of the Earth Charter positivelycorrelate with economic growth better than “business as usual.” A key finding of the thesis is that,whilst a transition to sustainable development will involve upfront investment, social and politicalcosts, numerous studies now show that these costs of early action will be far less than the costs ofinaction. Such studies show now that, lack of action on major sustainability issues like climate changeand peak oil significantly threaten long term global economic growth.Thus the thesis demonstrates that there is potential for the implementation of sustainable development,wisely applied, to result in better social and environmental outcomes in every respect whilst stillensuring strong economic growth this century and beyond. Hence the conclusion of this thesis is thatsocial justice, environmental protection and economic growth can be compatible through the necessary political will, with active and meaningful business and community engagement, underpinned by purposeful sustainability policy and educational reform. This conclusion is contested by a number ofacademics who blame economic growth for the current environmental crisis and social ills This thesisresponds to these academics by arguing that the current unsustainable nature of economic growth is asymptom of more fundamental causes and drivers of un-sustainability. This thesis argues that thecurrent form of economic growth is unsustainable due to market, informational and institutionalfailures, rebound effects, a failure to mainstream sustainable design, rising global population plus arapid expansion of unsustainable western consumption patterns globally. This thesis argues that, only by recognising this and focusing on the necessary changes needed to mainstream sustainability design,education, policy and institutional changes can the current unsustainable forms of development be turned around to become sustainable. Once it is understand that economic growth per se is not the problem then this helps to clarify what society needs to focus on to achieve the goal of sustainabledevelopment. This thesis argues that if we make the mistake of simplistically blaming economicgrowth for the current unsustainable form of economic growth then this plays into the hands of anti-sustainability blocking coalitions main argument, namely that social and environmental sustainabilityinitiative will harm the economy too much and are therefore too costly to undertake. This thesis, byclearly differentiating between economic and physical growth, focuses on how best to decoupleeconomic growth from negative social and environmental pressures. This thesis demonstrates that it is possible to cost effectively achieve significant decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures including greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, freshwater withdrawal, air pollution,waste and hazardous waste production.This thesis thus seeks, by providing significant evidence for decoupling, to help move the “growth”debates forward and encourage a focus on what changes to technology and design, what changes to policy and institutions will lead to a significant and cost effective decoupling.
This thesis brings together literature in Chapters 4-8 which demonstrates that there exists still, twenty years on from the publication of Our Common Future, significant potential to decouple economic growth from physical throughput and environmental pressures through eco-efficiencies, eco-innovation, whole system design, sustainable consumption and policy and institutional change. The thesis seeks to show that such decoupling can be a useful part of broader strategy to achieve sustainable development as long as rebound effects are minimised through effective policy. This thesis brings together much new evidence to support this hypothesis that a “green” form of economic growth can be achieved.
Having said that it is beyond the scope of one thesis to provide a complete overview of all the technological,sustainable consumption and policy advances which will assist nations achieve decoupling. Hence thisthesis provides a sample of technical, sustainable consumption and policy advances whilst referencingmuch more comprehensive sustainable technology and policy publications. This thesis presents a broad, integrated approach, bringing the three pillars of sustainability – environment, society andeconomy – more closely together than in much other work, and supports this with a new synthesis ofempirical evidence. The thesis also presents an overview of the case that to date there has beensignificant underinvestment in key social sustainability goals such as poverty reduction and mountsthe case or greater levels of such investment by demonstrating their positive effects from ahumanitarian and economic point of view.This thesis is grounded theoretically in the tradition of “strong” ecological modernisation. This thesisshows how a stronger form of ecological modernisation can assist to advance and resolve longstanding sustainability debates. Finally, this thesis is not simply theoretical. As part of the practice of the thesis, the author has co-founded in 2002 a sustainability think tank, The Natural Edge Project(TNEP) (www.naturaledgeproject.net). This think tank has put into practice many of the operational actions, such as improving education for sustainable development, recommended by this thesis to help create conditions within which ecological modernization is more likely to progress in Australia.
Opportunities_for_a_better_use_of_indiccators pdf (2011) Opportunities for a better use of indicators in policy-making: emerging needs and policy recommendations. Samuela Bassi, Leonardo Mazza, Patrick ten Brink, Keti Medarova, Sonja Gantioler, Jana Polakova, Indrani Lutchman, Doreen Fedrigo-Fazio,
Peter Hjerp,L. Baroni, Elisa Portale
Executive Summary : The importance of sustainability indicators and aims of the report
There is a growing concern that, at our current level of consumption and production patterns, we are engaged on a fundamentally unsustainable path. We are already consuming more than the planet can produce, with a global footprint equal to 1.5 planets (GFN, 2011) and, should current trends continue, it is expected that we will need the equivalent of more than two planets to sustain us by 2050 (EC, 2011a). Some non renewable resources will likely become highly scarce or exhausted, with demand potentially out-stripping supply (e.g. for certain minerals and fossil fuels) leading to major price volatility as well as lack of access to resources. Many renewable resources will be used beyond their natural generation capacity, leading to inefficient resource management (e.g. fisheries) and running down of the capital stock itself (e.g. fisheries, forest, soil). Furthermore, ecosystems can be pushed to a point beyond which they can no longer withstand external pressures (e.g. due to pollution, climate change, over-exploitation). In some cases this has already occurred (e.g. fisheries collapse in some areas, eutrophication of coastal areas leading to loss of marine life) and more risks occurring if consumption and production patterns, inefficiencies and impacts don‘t change. Whether such threshold points, which mark the boundaries of system integrity, are trespassed, there may be critical results, often irreversible (ten Brink et al., 2008).
There is therefore an increasing recognition of the need for policy to be driven not only by economic and financial motives, but also by sustainability concerns. For this reason, sustainability indicators are considered important tools to inform policy making.
Several initiatives aiming to stir policy making away from narrow economic motives have been already carried out in the past decade
researchgatee.net pdf 2012 Money and Sustainability, The Missing Link – by Bernard Lietaer, Stefan Brunnhuber
resilience.org/ about “Money and Sustainability”: Just as The Limits to Growth exposed the catastrophic flaws in our economic system, this new Report from the Club of Rome exposes the systemic flaws in our money system and the wrong thinking that underpins it. It describes the ongoing currency and banking crises we must expect if we continue with the current monopoly system – and the vicious impact of these crises on our communities, our society as a whole and our environment. It finishes by setting out clear, practical proposals for creating a money ‘ecosystem’ with complementary currencies to support and stabilise the current money system.
Greece and the eurozone crisis: the authors show that one of these proposals (Civics) could be applied, on the ground, now, across Europe, to reduce unemployment, mitigate the adverse social effects of the currency crisis and create a sustainable and flexible money system for the future. This alone makes it essential reading for policy makers, business leaders and economists, anybody concerned about sustainability (environmental, social, climate change), those working in the fields of monetary systems and anyone with an informed interest in the future of the planet.
resilience.org 2013 review by Graham Barnes orig. by Feasta, appendix D presents the theoretical framework on which the proposed scientific approach towards sustainability used in this Report is based.
ALT socio eco metrics/ ESG etc
Read or downlod PDF here 2014 “Towards an operational measurement of socio-ecological performance” by Sigrid Stagl, Claudia Kettner, Angela Köppl
Questioning GDP as dominant indicator for economic performance has become commonplace. For economists economic policy always aims for a broader array of goals (like income, employment, price stability, trade balance) alongside income, with income being the priority objective. The Stiglitz-SenFitoussi Commission argued for extending and adapting key variables of macroeconomic analysis. International organisations such as the EC, OECD, Eurostat and UN have proposed extended arrays of macroeconomic indicators (see ‘Beyond GDP’, ‘Compendium of wellbeing indicators’, ‘GDP and Beyond’, ‘Green Economy’, ‘Green Growth’, ‘Measuring Progress of Societies’). Despite these high profile efforts, few wellbeing and environmental variables are in use in macroeconomic models. The reasons for the low uptake of socio-ecological indicators in macroeconomic models range from path dependencies in modelling, technical limitations, indicator lists being long and unworkable, choices of indicators appearing ad hoc and poor data availability. In this paper we review key approaches and identify a limited list of candidate variables and – as much as possible – offer data sources.
academia.edu/ read or download 2007 ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS – Alessandra La Notte
- Sustainability Indicators and Ecosystem and Land use Accounting,
- Environmental Accounting and Reporting at Micro Level,
- Accounting of Environmental Activities,
- Material, Energy and Carbon Accounting,
- Measurement of Decoupling, National Accounts’ Adjustment, Damage Valuation,
- Population Census 2010 as a Tool for Environmental Policy
medium.com/ 2016 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs vs. The Max Neef Model of Human Scale development by Neha Khandelwal
OECD/academia.edu/gg.pdf 2001 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – CRITICAL ISSUES