SUSTAINABILITY – eco- green- de-GROWTH

green planet
85% are thinking about it

see also >DeGrowth   > development  >Growth! What Growth?  >Ecological Economics   >Greenwash     >Green Finance/Investment/ESG


  ideas4development.org/  5/2021 “Going out of the crisis, we can have a recovery without growth.” by Jason Hickel

…”It’s also crucial to work toward dis-accumulating capital. The problem with accumulated capital is that it flails around in desperate search of new outlets for additional accumulation, be it in extractivism, debt, wars, fossil fuels, gentrification, land grabs, whatever. Dis-accumulating capital – say, with a maximum income or a wealth tax – would deflate this tendency, remove pressure from the system, and allow us to focus on production that’s organized around well-being rather than around accumulation. Ultimately, however, we need to monitor national-level energy and resource use, and set clear annual targets for scaling these down to sustainable levels. It’s important to do this while at the same time decommodifying and expanding public goods, so that everyone has access to the resources they need to live flourishing lives…”…

ideas4development.org/en  –  ideas4development.org/fr

 


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 …


academia.edu pdf    2014  Why power is not a peripheral concern: Exploring the relationship between inequality and sustainability  by Branko Ančić etal  

…”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.”


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

“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. …”

KW decoupling


 

greenmatch.co.uk  2015  Overcoming the Challenges of Sustainability – Our favourite bloggers share their stories


academia.edu  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: …”…  

 download PDF


https://www.euronews.com/travel/2021/06/02/sustainability-and-the-city-these-are-the-world-s-greenest-locations


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

Key takeaways:

  • 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. …


 

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.

Havingsaid 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