Current economic growth strategies are rapidly depleting the natural resources and eco-system services that we depend on. As many developing countries strive to eradicate poverty via economic growth, they are all encountering the consequences of global warming and dwindling levels of cheap oil, productive soils, metals, clean water supplies and forest products.
If the fast-developing large-scale countries (China, India, Brazil) and small-scale countries (South Africa, Mexico, Venezuela, Poland) want to develop in the same way and to the same level as currently developed economies, they will simply be unable to find the natural resources they require to make this happen. For these developing countries, very different solutions are required.
In addition, the world’s population is expected to grow by three billion by 2050 and most of these people will be living in cities in Africa and Asia. Put all this together and it is clear that some radical changes are on the way.
The current global economic and ecological crisis has many aspects, among them urban development, economic sustainability and soil health. Just Transitions provides a comprehensive overview of these global challenges from the perspective of a southern, developing country and encourages ways of thinking about solutions to this crisis.
Informed by the extremely difficult task of reconciling the need to eradicate poverty with the need to rebuild our eco-system services and natural resources, this book provides us with a way of thinking about the sustainability challenges we face and the kinds of solutions that are emerging, in particular in developing economies in the Global South. To this end, the literature and case studies the book draws on are mainly from developing country contexts. Written by world-renowned experts in sustainability, the book discusses these and the South African challenges as part of a set of global trends.