Sustainable Development: Our Common Future? (Challenges (continuing gap…
Sustainable Development: Our Common Future?
growth in mean Y only X guarantee full range of human needs satisfied
rise in well-being of society as a whole
not just rise in mean Y but this Y be distributed as equitably as possible among a pop. (
intra-generational equity - over space
compromise btw dev. & conservation
inter-generational equity - over time
(current & future generations)
determined by quality of country's LT dev. path, w/ consistent rate of improvement, X short spurts of EG
rests on political will
increase in economy's output of g&s & overall amt. of Y it generates
(pursues EG due to universal attraction of higher Y)
destroys env., depletes stocks of natural resources as prioritises C for Y. processes used to extract & transform resources into commercial pdt.s cause pollution
"Our Common Future"
The Brundtland Report by The World Commission on Env. & Dev. (WCED)
defined as dev. that "meets the needs of the present w/o compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"
The Concept of 'Needs'
"SD requires meeting the basic needs of all & extending to all the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations for a better life"
LDCs (majority are poor) need "a new era of EG" + "assurance that those poor get their fair share of the resources required to sustain that growth" - prevent rich from getting richer, which exacerbates poverty
WCED: many in LDCs X have essential needs (food, clothing, shelter, jobs) met + have aspirations for better lives
WCED: env. degradation would continue unless poverty & inequality in DingC were addressed urgently. poor w/o basic needs met X always have regard for env. consequences of own actions so EG must continue to alleviate poverty, maintain dev. (only EG X enough- high productivity & poverty can coexist)
SD requires that societies meet human needs by increasing productive potential & ensuring equitable opportunities for all
perceived needs (for those w/ basic needs fulfilled)
SD requires promotion of values that encourage C standards within bounds of ecological possible & to which all can reasonably aspire
criticisms: 'needs' mean diff things to diff ppl & change over time. needs in a place/amongst groups are often fulfilled @ expense of others - how to solve this?
The 'Daly Rules'
non-renewable resources must be used no faster than renewable subst.s for them can be put in place
pollution & waste must be emitted no faster than natural systems can absorb, recycle or render them harmless
renewable resources must be used no faster than rate @ which they regenerate
The Idea of 'Limitations'
"limitations imposed by present state of tech. & social org. on env. resources & by the ability of the biosphere to absorb the effects of human activities"
there are possible limitations posed by ecological crises that may hinder progress towards SD
limitations due to interventions we make as a human society
extractions of minerals, emission of heat & harmful gases into atm etc. are e.g.s of intervention in natural systems during dev.
become more drastic in scale & impact, more threatening to env. locally & globally-> need not happen
limitations linked to tech & resource base
WCED allowed continued use of renewable & non-renewable resources (necessary for dev.) accumulation of knowledge & tech dev. can enhance carrying cap. of resource base
must ensure equitable access to constrained resources, be equipped w/ necessary tech to prevent reaching limits
renewable resources (forests, fish) X depleted when rate of use is within limits of regeneration & natural growth
when used, stock of non-renewable resources (fossil fuels, minerals) avail. reduced for future. rate of depletion should depend on importance of resource, avail. of tech for minimising use, avail. of subst.s
limitations linked to env.
extinction of plant & animal species can greatly limit options of future generations (affects food security, medicine etc.)
raw materials & energy of prod. partly converted to useful pdts, rest are waste
SD requires adverse impacts on quality of air, H2O & other natural elements be minimised, to sustain ecosystem's integrity
continuing gap btw QoL in DCs & DingCs
Flaws of The Brundtland Report
seeming incompatibility btw maintaining healthy env. & EG
X say how continued EG could be balanced against need to conserve resources & natural env.s
ambiguous to let ppl interpret the meaning of SD to reflect their agenda. DCs believe it means better env. protection, DingCs more dev.
Can SD be our common future? It can if we further common understanding & common spirit of responsibility in us.
involves maximising goals across 3 interdependent dimensions & may include trade-offs
economy, society, env. (may not be covered equally by countries)
3 different depictions of SD