NEW YORK – The year 2015 will be our generation’s greatest opportunity to move the world toward sustainable development. Three high-level negotiations between July and December can reshape the global development agenda, and give an important push to vital changes in the workings of the global economy. With United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call to [...]

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The Age of Sustainable Development explains the central concept for our age, which is both a way of understanding the world and a method for solving global problems – sustainable development. Sustainable development tries to make sense of the interactions of three complex systems: the world economy, the global society, and the Earth’s physical environment.  It recommends a holistic framework, in which society aims for environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development, underpinned by good governance. It is a way to understand the world, yet is also a normative or ethical view of the world: a way to define the objectives of a well-functioning society, one that delivers wellbeing for its citizens today and in future generations. This book describes key challenges and solutions pathways for every part of the world to be involved in problem solving, brainstorming, and determining new and creative ways to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth.

The Age of Sustainable Development explains why Sustainable Development will become the central public policy framework for our age.  The 193 member states of the UN will soon adopt Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help guide the world in the coming generation.  This book offers the first comprehensive approach for this new era and for the new SDGs.  The book examines the complex interactions of the economy, society, and the physical environment, and shows how a holistic strategy can help societies to achieve the combination of economic prosperity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.  Students around the world and interested citizens will be the leaders of this new era of problem solving, and The Age of Sustainable Development will provide them with new tools for success.

REVIEWS

KIRKUS REVIEW

A leading economist offers a brilliant analysis of the worldwide need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability.

Sustainable development is “the greatest, most complicated challenge humanity has ever faced,” writes Sachs (Sustainable Development, Health Policy and Management/Columbia Univ.; To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace, 2013, etc.). In an important, comprehensive and remarkably accessible book—a standout in a sea of jargon-laden titles that fail to explain and vivify this enormously complex topic—the author writes lucidly about a staggering array of intertwined challenges, including poverty, overpopulation, species extinction, overextraction from oceans, urbanization, social mobility and climate change. Sachs stresses that sustainable development is “inherently an exercise in problem solving,” and he calls for a holistic approach and new ideas to produce “prosperous, inclusive, sustainable, and well-governed societies.” He explains the history of world economic development, the factors that help make some nations more impoverished than others (such as the landlocked nature of much of Africa), the science of climate change, how technical advances have fostered the depletion of ocean fisheries, the “unfinished business” of social mobility, and the pressing need for sustainable technologies and higher farm yields (especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia). In each instance, the author offers telling details and anecdotes accompanied by useful charts, maps and photographs that drive home his points. Two photos of Shenzhen, China, taken three decades apart, convey the astonishing growth of that major southern city. Examining each aspect of his topic in detail within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals formulated at the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, Sachs argues that solutions are feasible and affordable, despite strong opposition by vested interests and the inaction of governments.

Required reading for policymakers and students, and general readers will finish the book realizing they actually understand what sustainable development is all about.

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Sir, Your editorial on the Keystone pipeline (November 25) seriously misconstrues the issues regarding Canada’s oil sands and the Keystone pipeline, albeit in a typical way. You state: “Long-term growth in global demand for oil, however, is very likely to make oil sands development profitable even if the crude has to be moved out of [...]

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PARIS – Two schools of thought tend to dominate today’s economic debates. According to free-market economists, governments should cut taxes, reduce regulations, reform labor laws, and then get out of the way to let consumers consume and producers create jobs. According to Keynesian economics, governments should boost total demand through quantitative easing and fiscal stimulus. [...]

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NEW YORK – The biggest economic news of the year came almost without notice: China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest economy, according to the scorekeepers at the International Monetary Fund. And, while China’s geopolitical status is rising rapidly, alongside its economic might, the US continues to squander its global leadership, owing [...]

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Today’s US-China joint announcement on climate change and energy is the most important advance on the climate change agenda in many years. While the full ramifications will only be known at the climate summit in Paris in December 2015, the two largest C02 emitters have finally spoken, and most importantly, they’ve spoken together. What they’ve [...]

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Pity the American people for imagining that they have just elected the new Congress. In a formal way, they of course have. The public did vote. But in a substantive way, it’s not true that they have chosen their government. This was the billionaires’ election, billionaires of both parties. And while the Republican and Democratic [...]

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I am a macroeconomist, but I dissent from the profession’s two leading camps in the United States: the neo-Keynesians, who focus on boosting aggregate demand, and the supply-siders, who focus on cutting taxes. Both schools have tried and failed to overcome the high-income economies’ persistently weak performance in recent years. It is time for a [...]

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There is no case for an American Ebola czar, least of all another political “fixer” who has no expertise in public health. This is just another case of the Obama administration putting politics before substance, and cowering at the idiocy and vileness of the Republicans in Congress. We already have an enormously competent national Ebola [...]

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