The term sustainable development has been defined many times over the years, but I always like to refer back to the traditional Brundtland definition which defines the term as “development that satisfies the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations to satisfy theirs”. It is often represented by the three pillars … Continue reading Is the term sustainable development a hindrance?
Following on from my series on Global Mega Trends I have decided to re-work a piece I had written previously on those trends that directly affected my own industry of construction. I will inevitably write with a UK and European bias however much of the discussion will be relevant to anyone reading. Of the 11 … Continue reading Global Trends Impacting the UK Construction Industry
It has been quite some time since I first started writing about the global mega trends that the European Environment Agency identified in their 2015 report. In this final part of the series I will be looking at changing approaches to governance - the mechanisms used to move society towards beneficial outcomes and away from … Continue reading Diversification of Governance in the 21st Century – Global Mega Trends Part 11
At this stage in the series on global mega trends it will be no surprise at all that environmental pollution is a significant and increasing problem. It is also transboundary affecting air, water, soil and ecosystems around the globe. It affects human health (GMT 3) and the natural world (GMT 8). The key driver behind … Continue reading Increasing levels of Environmental Pollution – Global Mega Trends Part 10
Whilst there is still a vocal minority that dispute anthropogenic climate change it is now accepted by the vast majority of the scientific community. The IPCC (2013) state warming of the climate caused by human influence is unequivocal and Cook et al. (2016) have showed in more than one study that 97% of scientists agree … Continue reading Climate Change – Global Mega Trends Part 9
Ecosystems around the world are coming under increasing pressure with significant potential impacts for the global population. These pressures are linked very much to the other global mega trends discussed in this series. Population growth (GMT 1) and urbanisation (GMT 2) first of all are literally increasing the global land area covered by our cities … Continue reading Ecosystem Collapse – Global Mega Trend Part 8
The use of natural resources around the world has increased ten-fold since 1900 and is set to double again by 2030. This is a huge increase with a number of key drivers pushing consumption ever higher. Consumption first started to significantly increase at the onset of industrialisation which saw new technologies and population structures leading … Continue reading Intensified Global Competition for Resources – Global Mega Trends Part 7
Continuing my series on global mega trends, this article focuses on what the European Environment Agency describes as the Multipolar World. Put simply, this is the emergence of new economic and political powers and the relative diminishment of the West. This gradual change represents a structural convergence with developing nations increasing in importance and developed … Continue reading The Multipolar World – Global Mega Trends Part 6
Continuing my series in response to the EEAs Global Mega Trends report, part 5 considers the recent history of continued economic growth and what this could mean in the future. Economic growth at its most basic is the result of population size and output per person. Since 1700, each has accounted for about half of … Continue reading Global Mega Trends Part 5: Continued Economic Growth?
This article was inspired by and largely based on a seminar given by Alice Garton (Client Earth) at the Edie conference in Birmingham, UK earlier this summer. Already aware of the work Client Earth has been doing holding the UK government to account on air quality failures, I was intrigued to hear their take on … Continue reading Climate Change Litigation – Using Existing Laws to Promote Climate Action