Transitions to a Sustainable Future
The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development
Edited by Valentina Bosetti, Reyer Gerlagh and Stefan P. Schleicher
Foreword: Challenges of Sustainability to Economics
Ger Klaassen Sustainable development can be defined as a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come. This is about meeting the needs of present generations without jeopardising the needs of future generations. It implies development that links economic development, protection of the environment and social justice in an integrated and mutually reinforcing way. Sustainable development focuses on: • • • • • high levels of employment and social cohesion; a high level of environmental protection and responsible use of natural resources; balanced and equitable economic development; coherent policy-making in an open, transparent and accountable political system; effective international cooperation to promote sustainable development globally. The European Council of the European Union adopted in June 2006 a renewed Strategy for Sustainable Development (SDS) for an enlarged EU. It builds on the Gothenburg strategy of 2001 and is the result of a review process that started in 2004. The renewed EU SDS sets out a single, coherent strategy on how the EU will more effectively live up to its long-standing commitment to meet the challenges of sustainable development. It recognises the need to gradually change our current unsustainable consumption and production patterns and move towards a better integrated approach to policymaking. It reaffirms the need for global solidarity and recognises the importance of strengthening our work with partners outside the EU, including those rapidly developing countries which will have a significant impact on global sustainable development. The Council decisions of June 2006 were based on a Communication from the European Commission on...