Negotiations around Sustainable Development Goals and the post‐2015 development agenda should go beyond just re‐writing goals and targets that adhere to ‘sustaining’ the same old economic and social models. Instead, societies and governments should take this as an opportunity to advance more radical conceptual and practical approaches that challenge this reductive understanding of ‘sustainability’. The paper argues that we should turn our attention to prosperity rather than to development per se, recognising the critical role political and social innovation should have in unleashing individuals' potential to flourishing in a context of finite resources. The interwoven, interdependent and ever‐evolving nature of socio‐ecological systems, together with the uncertainties and ‘unknowns’ that characterise contemporary reality, questions the relevance of one‐size‐fits‐all goals. There is no single route to prosperity; diversity of objectives is essential and fundamental. Learning from initiatives in the Global South, such as the case of agroecology, might pave the way towards this paradigm shift.
The independent review on The Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta has now been delivered to the government. The report underlines our failure to grasp that our economies are “embedded within Nature, and not external to it.” We rely on nature to “provide us with food, water and shelter; regulate our climate and disease; maintain nutrient cycles and oxygen production; and provide us with spiritual fulfilment and opportunities for recreation and recuperation which can enhance our health and well-being.”Read More
On 4 August 2020, a massive explosion at Beirut’s port killed at least 200 people and caused up to $15bn in damage to buildings and infrastructure – including the destruction of the public electricity company building. It was the latest blow for a country battling a 30-year energy crisis and facing chronic shortages as a result of an ageing infrastructure based around fossil fuels.Read More
In 1945, the UK’s welfare state was set up to address the want, need and misery caused by unemployment. Seventy-five years later, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had almost full employment in the UK – and yet we still have massive levels of poverty and precarity experienced by people in work.Read More