Modern interpretations of sustainable development

  • Ross A
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Early interpretations of sustainable development based on weak sustainability address neither the limits to the earth 's resilience nor our failure to curb consumption. Given the challenges facing the earth today, especially climate change, a much more meaningful instrument is required and a new ethic based on the ecological carrying capacity of the Earth. The article examines the impact of those early inter- pretations before exploring the importance of ecological sustainability as the moral and (potentially fundamental) legal principle under- pinning the concept of sustainable development. It examines the influence of the climate change agenda before examining the mech- anisms available to make this ethic operational. Sustainable develop- ment has the capacity to set meaningful objectives, duties and rules, and provide boundaries for decision making, as reflected in recent legislation. Enhancing ecological sustainability through improving supply and impact is relatively easy for governments, businesses, and individuals; reducing consumption is much harder, and will require strong leadership. INTRODUCTION

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  • Andrea Ross

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