Achieving sustainable development for nine billion people has to be high on the list of humanity’s great uncharted journeys. So here’s an idea for a global-scale compass to point us in the right direction -- the doughnut.
Who’s stressing the planet?
The rich, not the poor. Bringing everyone alive today above the social foundation need not stress planetary boundaries.
The real source of stress is excessive resource use by roughly the richest 10 percent of people in the world – backed up by the aspirations of a rapidly growing global middle class seeking to emulate those unsustainable lifestyles. Thanks to the extraordinary scale of global inequality, widespread poverty coexists with dangerous planetary stress.
What about growth?
The aim of economic development must be to bring humanity into the safe and just space, ending deprivation and keeping within safe levels of resource use. Traditional growth policies have largely failed to deliver on both accounts: far too few benefits of GDP growth have gone to people living in poverty, and far too much of GDP’s rise has been at the cost of degrading natural resources.
Read more on the GROW blog: Can we live inside the doughnut? Why the world needs planetary and social boundaries and tell us what you think about this model of growth!