Synopses & Reviews
Cents and Sustainability is a clear-sighted response to the 1987 call by Dr Gro Brundtland in Our Common Future to achieve a new era of economic growth that is 'forceful and at the same time socially and environmentally sustainable'. The Brundtland Report argued that not only was it achievable, but that it was an urgent imperative in order to achieve a transition to sustainable development while significantly reducing poverty and driving 'clean and green' investment. With some still arguing for significantly slowing economic growth in order to reduce pressures on the environment, this new book, Cents and Sustainability, shows that it is possible to reconcile the need for economic growth and environmental sustainability through a strategy to decouple economic growth from environmental pressures, combined with a renewed commitment to achieve significant environmental restoration and poverty reduction. Beginning with a brief overview of some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, the book then explains 'decoupling theory', overviews a number of factors that can undermine and even block efforts to decouple in both developed and developing countries, and then discusses a number of key considerations to assist the development of national 'decoupling strategies'. The book then focuses on presenting evidence to support greater action, not just on climate change, but also on decoupling economic growth from the loss of biodiversity and the deterioration of natural systems, freshwater extraction, waste production, and air pollution. In the lead up to the 2012 United Nations Earth Summit and beyond, Cents and Sustainability will be a crucial guide to inform and assist nations to develop strategies to significantly reduce environmental pressures, strengthen their economy, create jobs and reduce poverty. 'I commend the team from The Natural Edge Project and their partners for undertaking to develop a response to 'Our Common Future' to mark its 20th anniversary.' Dr Gro Brundtland. Sequel to The Natural Advantage of Nations Published with The Natural Edge Project
Our Common Future was one of the first sustainable development publications to suggest that the twin goals of economic growth and sustainable development could be reconciled. The focus of this new book is to provide an additional response to the call by Dr Gro Brundtland, in her 1987 Foreword, What is needed now is a new era of economic growth--growth that is forceful and at the same time socially and environmentally sustainable. With the 20th anniversary of Our Common Future in 2007, it is clearly the time to re-examine these important issues. Significant evidence and research is now available to allow a deeper understanding of how, and under what conditions, this forceful sustainable growth is possible. The goal of this book is to further explore, in a modern global context, the conditions under which society can achieve a form of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable. The introduction to Cents and Sustainability is written by Dr Jim MacNeill (former Secretary General to the Brundtland Commission, and former Director, OECD Environment Directorate 1978 -1984). The book carries forewords from Dr Gro Brundtland (former Chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development), Dr Rajendra Pachauri (Chief, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and joint recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC), and Dr Kenneth Ruffing (former Deputy Director and Chief Economist of the OECD Environment Directorate 2000 - 2005). The book's authors belong to The Natural Edge Project, the team behind The Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century.