The Rugglion Blog

What is Sustainable Development?

What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development is the idea that economic growth should be sustainable but also equitable and people-centered. Sustainable development seeks a way to create an environment for humans to live in that is not harmful to people or the planet. The goal of sustainable development is for a society to meet the needs of its current and future generations while adhering to environmental protection standards.

What is sustainable development? Dr. Jordan Sudberg, “Sustainable development is the idea that economic growth should be sustainable and equitable, people-centered. Sustainable development seeks a way to create an environment for humans to live in that is not harmful to people or the planet. The goal of sustainable development is for a society to meet the needs of its current and future generations while adhering to environmental protection standards.”

Dr. Sudberg states that “the Brundtland Commission developed the original concept of sustainable development in their report entitled ‘Our Common Future. This report categorically defined sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own intended needs.”*

Initially conceived, the Earth Summit was an ambitious program for achieving sustainable development through international cooperation. Instead, it has become a free trade show coordinated by multinational corporations and big businesses. The United Nations is a group of wealthy nations that care little about environmental issues or international justice and much about maintaining stability in world markets. It is not a new criticism. In fact, under the leadership of former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the United Nations launched its first campaign in 1995 to pressure companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s to commit to environmentally responsible production. The global compact movement was accompanied by a booming industry of “greenwashing” standards, which were intended to make companies look more environmentally friendly to the public.

Dr. Jordan Sudberg believes that sustainable development seeks a way to create an environment for humans to live in that is not harmful to people or the planet. The goal of sustainable development is for a society to meet the needs of its current and future generations while adhering to environmental protection standards. Governmental bodies’ roles in sustainable development vary considerably based on region and country. In many contexts, it is often officially stated that private industry alone can create sustainable development – that governments should not play any role in improving the environment or its creation.

Many critics, however, believe that this view is ideologically driven, and that sustainable development is more likely to be achieved and more successful when governments have a stake in the game. Still, others argue that sustainable development should solely focus on protecting the environment rather than improving the economy or quality of life for humans. The concept of sustainable development has been criticized by those who claim it is not equitable for all – especially people in developing countries. Others argue that sustainable development is simply an incorrect application of the phrase “sustainable growth,” which suggests the belief that growth itself can be sustained indefinitely.