In Search of a Sustainable Future -  - ebook

In Search of a Sustainable Future ebook

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How can politics, economy and society become more sustainable and socially just? To this end, what kind of political course has to be set at national and international level? The volume "In Search of a Sustainable Future" has experts from five continents and different disciplines giving answers to these questions and presents solutions for a more sustainable future. Following a comprehensive approach to sustainability, the authors do not only consider the ecological aspects but also the economical and social ones while taking into account their interdependence. They describe the challenges for a global policy of sustainability and discuss the barriers such a development has to overcome.

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Bertelsmann Stiftung, The Globalist (eds.)

In Search of a Sustainable Future

Reflections on Economic Growth,Social Equity and Global Governance

Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de.

© E-Book-Ausgabe 2013

© 2013 Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh

Responsible: Dr. Peter Walkenhorst

Production editor: Christiane Raffel

Cover design: Elisabeth Menke

Cover illustration: picture-alliance/dpa/Bernd Thissen

Typesetting and Printing: Hans Kock Buch- und Offsetdruck GmbH, Bielefeld

ISBN 978-3-86793-521-0 (Print)

ISBN 978-3-86793-529-6 (E-Book PDF)

ISBN 978-3-86793-530-2 (E-Book EPUB)

www.bertelsmann-stiftung.org/publications

Contents

Foreword

Liz Mohn

Introduction

Stephan Richter, Peter Walkenhorst

Global Governance

Averting a Tragedy of the Global Commons

Seán Cleary

Globalization: The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain

Ian Goldin

Giving Foreign Ministers a Real Purpose Again

Wolfgang Schüssel

Let’s Be Practical About Building a Better World

Dennis J. Snower

Complexity Mathematics, the EU and Global Governance

Andrea Illy

All Negotiating Is Domestic

Pascal Lamy

The United States –From Global Vanguard to Hindrance

Stephan Richter

Cutting the Gordian Knot on Collective Action

Beatrice Weder di Mauro

Economic Growth

A World Community in Denial

Chandran Nair

How We Solve the World’s Triple Unsustainability Crisis

Andrea Illy

Is India’s Economic Growth Sustainable?

Lydia Powell

Is the 21st Century the Asia Century?

Chandran Nair

Climate Change:The Biggest Business Opportunity of Our Time

José María Figueres

Making Sustainability Pay

Dimitri Zenghelis

Brazil’s Strategy for Economic and Social Sustainability

Carlos Ivan Simonsen Leal

New Oil? The Energy Revolution in Reverse

Ian Johnson

Germany Does Leadership – Where It Matters

Stephan Richter

Managing Sustainability, Globally

Seán Cleary

From Economic Growth to Human Growth

Dennis J. Snower

Social Equity

The Future of Capitalism:How to Cope With Market Failures?

Pascal Lamy

Globalization for Whom?

Ian Goldin

Global Governance Talk vs. African Reality

Kandeh K. Yumkella

India’s Modern Economic History: A Brief Review

Lydia Powell

Women and Energy in India

Lydia Powell

Africa’s Resurgence and the Future of the Global Economy

Mzukisi Qobo

Developing World:First Democratize, Then Restrain Yourself?

Kandeh K. Yumkella

Asia’s Austerity: The New Global Norm

Chandran Nair

The Authors

Foreword

Liz Mohn

Global challenges require global solutions. Even if globalization has long been a reality in both economic and technological terms, policies for shaping it are only beginning to emerge. To help address this challenge, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has been holding the Salzburg Trilogue since 2004. The annual conference gathers decision makers and opinion leaders from the political, business and cultural spheres to discuss global issues impacting the world’s future. The Trilogue promotes an interdisciplinary and intercultural exchange of views regarding global trends and the challenges resulting from those trends. Originally initiated by Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel, member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Supervisory Board and former Austrian chancellor, the Salzburg Trilogue has been jointly organized by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs from 2007 to 2012.

The Salzburg Trilogue conferences in 2011 and 2012 focused on the key challenges of economic growth, sustainable development and global governance. In 2011, participants addressed the normative foundations of the global economy and the need to adapt global governance to the new realities of the 21st century. Building on these discussions, the Trilogue in 2012 reflected on how economic growth can be balanced with social equity and environmental responsibility.

These topics are more relevant than ever. The world has already paid a severe price for systematically transgressing fiscal and ecological boundaries and for maintaining global governance structures that were designed in the last century, but which appear inadequate for the globalized world. Our complacency toward poverty and increasing debt levels, as well as the unrestrained destruction of natural resources so vital to human survival, suggest that a systemic failure of unprecedented magnitude is underway. The unlimited pursuit of self-interest by nation-states coupled with their dominance in global governance means that the pursuit of the public good is increasingly neglected. Future generations will be left with vast and perhaps crippling financial, social and ecological debts.

In view of the financial and economic crisis, the issue of growth has become a much more complex one in recent years: Growth is no longer about quantity, but also and especially about quality. We need solutions for how growth can be achieved in a responsible, sustainable way. For this to succeed, we must be prepared not only for selective reforms, but for real, fundamental change. We must also bear in mind that no one is capable of solving the challenges of a networked world single-handedly.

Returning to business as usual and failing to adapt economic governance to the realities of a globalized world would constitute a generational abdication of responsibility. Yet the window of opportunity to draw the right lessons is closing. Although several calls for a fundamental reform of the global economic governance system were put forward at the peak of the recent economic and financial crises, none of these calls has to date been put into practice. As soon as the economic recovery began, the political will to reform dissipated. Efforts to build consensus on and implement meaningful changes at the global level have failed.

Against this background, the continuing search for sustainable policies and innovative approaches to the unresolved global challenges is important and timely. The essays in this book seek to advance this discussion. They are based on statements of participants in the Salzburg Trilogue conferences in 2011 and 2012. Their authors share the conviction that current economic models are not sustainable over the long term, and they argue that economic growth and ecological sustainability are actually reconcilable. How to achieve this goal remains a matter of debate and requires further thinking. I very much hope that the ideas put forward in this book will add to this ongoing debate about how to shape a more sustainable future. Given the magnitude of the challenges before us, such a debate is more important than ever.

I would like express my gratitude to the team of distinguished authors that contributed to this publication. I would also like to thank The Globalist and its editor for curating the collection. Last but not least, I am grateful to all those who took part in the Salzburg Trilogue conferences in 2011 and 2012 for sharing their unique insights.

Introduction

Stephan Richter, Peter Walkenhorst

Humanity is at a crossroads. The choice is between the continuation of present modes of economic growth, with potentially catastrophic results, and the transition to a new development model that reduces poverty, and enhances sustainability and social equity. The choice is ours to make. It is nerve-wracking and anything but easy, and the outcome is profoundly uncertain.

The cumulative pressure the human species is putting on the planet is sapping its resources and resilience. The combination of population growth and economic growth (including changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns as wealth increases) places excess demands on the environment. We are using more resources than the earth can provide, exceeding its capacity to sustain us and, unless we change course radically, the consequences will be severe, affecting the habitability for life on earth, including humans.

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