The International Political Economy and Sustainable Development


Published on

Presentation to postgraduate students at Griffith University

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

The International Political Economy and Sustainable Development

  1. 1. Managing Sustainable Enterprise GCSE 7508 Griffith Business School Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise January 2013 Jeremy Williams @jeremybwilliams @TheGreenMBA
  2. 2. Session 5:The International Political Economy and Sustainable Development
  3. 3. 4 The Brundtland Report (1987)• The most widely accepted definition: ‘development that meets the needs of the present without Gro Harlem compromising the ability of future Brundtland generations to meet their economic needs’.
  4. 4. 5 Inter-generational and intra-generational equity• Principle 3, Rio Declaration: ‘… to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations’.• inter-generational equity – a necessary condition for sustainability• intra-generational equity – a necessary condition for development
  5. 5. 7 The ends-means spectrumDaley (1973)
  6. 6. 9 Criticisms of GDP as an indicator of economic well-beingTraditional criticisms: Contemporary criticisms:• Measurement problems: • The counting of ‘defensive’ − The underground economy expenditures as positive − Domestic production contributions to GDP − Quality and composition of • Failure to account for changes output in the value of ‘natural• Leisure time capital’.• Income distribution
  7. 7. 10 GDP and its detractors… ‘If a truckload of toxic chemicals spills somewhere,the money spent cleaning it up is added to the GDP.If nearby residents can no longer use their wells forwater, their expenditures on bottled water is added to GDP. If they become sick from exposure to thesubstance, their medical costs are also added to the official measure of well-being’. Mike Nickerson, The Sustainability Project, Ontario, 1997 Source:
  8. 8. 11 GDP and its detractors… ‘Unfortunately GDP figures are generally used without the caveat that they represent an income that cannot be sustained. Currentcalculations ignore the degradation of the natural resource base and view Barber B Conable Jr, Former Republican the sale of non-renewable resources Congressman and Formerentirely as income. A better way must President, World Bank, 1989 be found to measure the prosperity and progress of mankind.’ Source:
  9. 9. 12GDP and its detractors… Simon Kuznets, (creator of GDP concept) 1962 ‘The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income as defined by the GDP... goals for ‘more’ growth should specify of what and for what.’ Source:
  10. 10. 13 The GPI for the United States Further reading: Clifford Cobb, Ted Halstead, and Jonathan Rowe (1995), ‘If the GDP is Up, Why is America Down?’, Atlantic Monthly Source:
  11. 11. 14 The ISEW for the UKSource:
  12. 12. 15 The GPI for AustraliaSource:
  13. 13. 16 What the GPI counts that GDP doesn’t …• Personal consumption • Costs of noise pollution• Income distribution • Costs of irrigation water use• Public consumption expenditure • Costs of urban water pollution• Value of household and community • Costs of air pollution work • Costs of land degradation• Costs of unemployment • Costs of loss of native forests• Costs of underemployment • Costs of depletion of non-renewable• Costs of overwork energy resources• Private defensive expenditure on • Costs of climate change health and education • Costs of ozone depletion• Services of public capital • Costs of problem gambling• Costs of commuting • Value of advertising• Costs of transport accidents • Net capital growth• Costs of industrial accidents • Net foreign lending• Costs of crime Source:
  14. 14. 18 GDP and the neo-classical circular flow model• What is ‘assumed away’ in the model? Wages, profit, rent, interest Resources Households Firms Goods and services Payments for products
  15. 15. 19The neoclassical world view The economy The environment
  16. 16. 20The ecological economics world view The environment The economy
  17. 17. 21The economy and the environment Reduction innatural capital Economic growth
  18. 18. 22The economy and the environment
  19. 19. 23The economy and the environment
  20. 20. 24The economy and the environment At some point, the flows between environment and economy become unsustainable
  21. 21. 25• The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth By Kenneth E. Boulding, 1966
  22. 22. 26Chinese proverb: “Better to give a man a rod than a fish” Source: Daly, H.E. (2005) ‘Economics in a full world’, Scientific American, September, p. 102.… the supply of fishing rods is no longer the problem
  23. 23. 27
  24. 24. 28 15 football pitches per dayImage source: • It is a shortage of trees, not chainsaws, that threatens timber production
  25. 25. 29
  26. 26. 30 The Aral Sea once the fourth largest lake in the world, continues to shrink and is now 10 percent of its original size• Water itself has become scarce relative to the powerful pumping technologies used to access it
  27. 27. 31Santa Fe residents "flood" the SantaFe RIvers dried up riverbedEveryones holding blue becausethats where the river should beflowingSource: 350/org
  28. 28. 32 Examples of ecosystem services (Costanza et al 1997)Ecosystem service ExamplesClimate regulation Greenhouse gas regulation, dimethyl sulfide production affecting cloud formation.Disturbance regulation Storm protection, flood control, drought recovery and other aspects of habitat response to environmental variability mainly controlled by vegetation structure.Water regulation Provisioning of water for agriculture (e.g. irrigation) or industrial (e.g. milling) processes or transportation.Water supply Provision of water by watersheds, reservoirs and aquifers.Soil formation Weathering of rock and the accumulation of organic material.Nutrient cycling Nitrogen fixation, nitrogen, phosphorous and other elemental or nutrient cycles.Waste treatment Waste treatment, pollution control, and detoxification.Pollination Provision of pollinators for the reproduction of plant populations.Biological control Keystone predator control of prey species, reduction of herbivory (plant eating by insects) by top predators.Food production Production of fish, game, crops, nuts, fruits etc. by hunting, gathering, subsistence farming or fishing.Raw materials Production of lumber, fuel or fodder.Genetic resources Medicine, products for materials science, genes for resistance to plant pathogens and crop pests, ornamental species (pets and horticultural varieties of plants).Recreation Eco-tourism, sport fishing and other outdoor recreational activities.Cultural Aesthetic, artistic, education, spiritual and/or scientific values of ecosystems.
  29. 29. 33Welcome to the Anthropocene
  30. 30. 35 The ecological footprint concept• How many planets would we need if everyone lived like you?
  31. 31. 36 Worldwide, there exists about 1.9 biologically productive global hectares per personImage source:
  32. 32. 37At what stage do you think humankind will outstrip its supply of biologically productive hectares? A. 2010 B. 2020 C. 2050 D. 2100 E. No answer
  33. 33. 38 38Image source:
  34. 34. 39Image source:
  35. 35. Paul Gilding
  36. 36. 44Source:
  37. 37. 45
  38. 38. 46
  39. 39. 47New colours on the temperature map
  40. 40. 48 The Stern Review, October 2006 • On climate change: “The greatest market failure the world has ever seen”Sir Nicholas Stern
  41. 41. 49IPCC Fourth Assessment Report February, 2007: Evidence of Human- caused Global Warming is ... “Unequivocal”
  42. 42. 50November 2012: The 10 warmest Novembers have occurred in the past 12 years, and November 2012 was the 36th consecutive November and 333rd consecutive month with global temperature higher than the 20th century average. Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US Department of Commerce
  43. 43. 51
  44. 44. 52James L. Powell reviewed 13,950 peer-reviewed papers published betweenJanuary 1991 and early November 2012, and only 24 (0.17%) clearly reject globalwarming or endorse a cause other than CO2 emissions for observed warming.
  45. 45. 53
  46. 46. 54
  47. 47. 552005: CO2 = 379ppm
  48. 48.
  49. 49. 57Source:
  50. 50. 58Source:
  51. 51. 5919282004Upsala Glacier, Argentina
  52. 52. 60Blomstrandbreen Glacier, Norway 1922
  53. 53. 61Blomstrandbreen Glacier, Norway 2002
  54. 54. 62The Imja Glacier, Himalayas
  55. 55. 63The Imja Glacier, Himalayas
  56. 56. 64 Southeastern China, February 2011Anhui Province, China, August 2006
  57. 57. 65Floods in Southern China, June 2011,Floods in Southern China, June 2011, 550,000 left homeless 550,000 left homeless
  58. 58. 66 Forced migrations• UN study estimates that there were 50 million environmental refugees around the world in 2010• Same study estimates that as many as 100 million people live in areas that are below sea level or liable to storm surge
  59. 59. 67
  60. 60. 68• 1 metre sea level rise will inundate more than 15 percent of Bangladesh, displacing more than 13 million people
  61. 61. 69 Annual carbon dioxide emissions• Bangladesh: 172kg per capita• United States: 21 tonnes per capita
  62. 62. 70 ChinaImage source:
  63. 63. 71 71John Howard refused to sign Kyoto
  64. 64. 72Kevin Rudd signed on his first day in office
  65. 65. 73Julia Gillard’s government introduced a carbon tax in July 2012
  66. 66. Case Study:Envisioning the future
  67. 67. 7575
  68. 68. 76 The future• If you dont know where youre going, you end up somewhere else• We have to decide where we want to go, and balance that with where it is possible to go
  69. 69. 77 Envisioning• The processes of envisioning and goal setting are extremely important• They are also very underdeveloped skills in our society!• In order to effectively envision, it is necessary to focus on what one really wants, not what one will settle for.
  70. 70. 78 For example:Really want Settle for• Self-esteem • Fancy car• Serenity • Drugs• Health • Medicine• Human happiness • Higher GDP• Permanent prosperity • Unsustainable growth
  71. 71. 79 Two world views Technological optimist Technological sceptic• Technical progress can deal • Technical progress is limited and with any future challenge ecological carrying capacity must be• Competition preserved• Linear systems with no • Cooperation discontinuities or • Complex, nonlinear systems with irreversibilities discontinuities and irreversibilities• Humans dominant over • Humans in partnership with nature nature • Partnership with others• Everybody for themselves • Market as servant of larger goals• Market as guiding principle
  72. 72. 80 Four visions of the future Real state of world Optimists right Sceptics right ? ? Technological optimistWorld view ? ? Technological sceptic
  73. 73. 81Dystopian ‘Mad Max’ world?
  74. 74. 82Alternative ‘Star Trek’ world?
  75. 75. 83Controlled ‘Big Brother’ world?
  76. 76. 84Ecotopian world?
  77. 77. 85 Four visions of the future Real state of world Optimists right Sceptics right Technological optimist Star Trek Mad MaxWorld view Technological sceptic Big Brother Ecotopia
  78. 78. 86Watch archive footage in 2055
  79. 79. 87Trace the events back to 2013from 2055 … what happened?• Sketch out one of the four visions of the future• Reflect upon the various initiatives that might, or might not have been taken, and the prospective consequences• Prepare a 10-12 minute presentation