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The Challenge of Sustainable Development and the Imperative of Green and Inclusive Economic Growth

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DOI: 10.4236/me.2014.52013    7,030 Downloads   8,875 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The greatest challenge of the century is to meet the needs of current and future generations, of a large and growing world population, while at the same time ensuring the sustainability of the natural environment. The current development model places unsustainable pressures on the natural resources—forests, land, water and the atmosphere—and causes an increasing frequency and intensity of natural and humanitarian disasters. The paper agrees with increasing evidence that business-as-usual is not an option, but it takes issues with many of the suggested policy responses. Human wellbeing is inseparably linked to economic growth, and economic growth inevitably has environmental implications. While it is impossible to decouple these linkages, countries can promote more sustainable development pathways by altering these linkages. To this end, they have three principle policy levers, which will need to complement each other: Efforts to promote more inclusive economic growth, efforts to increase resource-efficiency, and efforts to address and harness demographic changes. The paper has important implications for the discussions on sustainable development goals and the post-2015 development agenda, which takes place at the United Nations.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Herrmann, "The Challenge of Sustainable Development and the Imperative of Green and Inclusive Economic Growth," Modern Economy, Vol. 5 No. 2, 2014, pp. 113-119. doi: 10.4236/me.2014.52013.

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