Sustainable Development - At the Crossroads


Life depends on a complex set of interactions between people, the natural environment and economic systems. The unprecedented growth of the 20th century has affected these relationships, both positively and negatively. Record levels of pollution have put great stress on the environment. Economic growth has created immense wealth in some areas of the globe, but left others behind. Understanding the essential elements that support healthy societies and a healthy planet is an urgent need for people and their governments.

Chapter 1 starts by looking at the state of the world today. It describes the material progress the industrial era has brought and what this means for our daily lives. It then describes the downside – the social and economic inequalities and negative environmental impacts. Finally, it looks at where we are heading and the questions we should be asking about the sustainability of our societies.

Did you know?
Earth’s human population is forecast to grow from 6.5 billion today to 8 billion by 2050. That will put even more pressure on societies to pursue sustainable development.

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