The World’s Search for Sustainable Development: A Perspective from the Global South

The World’s Search for Sustainable Development: A Perspective from the Global South

Author: Mukul Sanwal, ISBN: 9781107122666, Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Universal goals for dealing with climate change and sustainability are inevitably leading to a questioning of the conceptual framework for international cooperation. You might find this book of interest in understanding the perspectives of India and China.

This book addresses a forty year period where science legitimized policy debates around natural resource use for urbanization and the evolution of international cooperation from environmental risk posed by discrete issues to universal global goals of human wellbeing within ecological limits.

The book presents a practitioner’s analysis to stimulate reflection on the implications of urbanization as the global mega-trend:

  • The urban middle class, will triple by 2050, is the driver shaping societal functions – housing, mobility and food; key production systems, such as energy, that respond to these arrangements; and, dominant institutions, policies, technologies and thinking that sustain them.
  • Consumption relates to the substance of societal well-being, production depends on the transformation of natural resources and both impact on planetary limits with different characteristics.
  • Disproportionate burdens on the global ecosystem require a policy focus not only on globalised material flows and related scarcity but also on global use and distribution of natural resources.
  • The transformation will go beyond shorter-term economic efficiency and optimization strategies as it is a social process rather than a physical problem.

The book explores drivers, trends and patterns of natural resource use, rather than institutions, as the focus of inquiry; why interdependence has not been matched by knowledge, policy frameworks and effective global governance mechanisms, and should now be framed around the rural-urban divide rather than between countries; and, how re-emerging countries, China and India, are harnessing new ideas of the post-industrial services and knowledge economy that are not based on increasing use of energy, giving hope that global natural systems will continue to maintain their resilience as the basis for a good life for all.

Comments are welcome – sanwals@gmail.com

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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