What Next for Sustainable Development?
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What Next for Sustainable Development?

Our Common Future at Thirty

Edited by James Meadowcroft, David Banister, Erling Holden, Oluf Langhelle, Kristin Linnerud and Geoffrey Gilpin

This book examines the international experience with sustainable development since the concept was brought to world-wide attention in Our Common Future, the 1987 report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. Scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds engage with three critical themes: negotiating environmental limits; equity, environment and development; and transitions and transformations. In light of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals recently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, they ask what lies ahead for sustainable development.
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Chapter 16: What next for sustainable development?

David Banister, Erling Holden, Oluf Langhelle, Kristin Linnerud, James Meadowcroft and Geoffrey Gilpin


This book has brought together a wide range of contributions from different perspectives that all relate to the debates that have ensued since the publication of Our Common Future. The strength of this edited book is its diversity, as this reflects the multitude of debates and the interdisciplinary nature of sustainable development. The book itself has been structured in five main sections: covering the context; negotiating environmental limits; ensuring equity, needs and development; enabling transitions and transformation; and facing the future. This conclusion presents some cross-cutting themes that reflect on the individual chapters, and sketches out an agenda for the next 30 years. The aim of the book has been to look back and reflect on Our Common Future and its impact over the last three decades, and to comment on its relevance for today and tomorrow.

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