An Introduction to Sustainable Development: 2nd Edition by J. Elliott

By J. Elliott

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1995) The Global Environment Movement, 2nd edn, Wiley, London. , Elliott, Jennifer A. and Smith D. (1999) Geographies of Development, Addison Wesley Longman, Harlow. World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, Oxford. 2 The challenges of sustainable development • How development processes depend on the natural environment • Past failings in development and environmental conservation • The pollution of poverty • Gender and the environment • The global challenges of personal and political change Introduction Sustainable development is fundamentally about reconciling development and the environmental resources on which society depends.

3 The pollution of poverty: hazardous housing on a Calcutta roadside Source: author. 26 • What is sustainable development? for environmental protection and ‘degraded and deteriorating environments were seen to be inimical to continued development’ (Mather and Chapman, 1995: 248). But new forms of economic growth would be the key to sustainable development; growth must be less energy intensive and more equitably shared, for example. For some, the continued prominence given in the report to economic growth in future development has suggested a ‘comfortable reformism’.

However, this continental scale of analysis (which includes major oil-producing countries such as Libya) masks some very high levels of dependence on biomass sources of energy for particular countries, such as Ethiopia (90 per cent), Malawi (92 per cent), Sierra Leone (83 per cent) and Tanzania (92 per cent). 4 Share of world population and primary energy consumption Source: World Resources Institute, 1996. 1 International gaps in access to safe water supplies Source: World Bank (1997b). 3 emphasise further inequalities in access to the basic opportunities for development.

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