[Articles and opinion pieces published in this blog do not necessarily reflect the polices and opinions of the organizers of the International Conference on Degrowth in the Americas. They are posted here to stimulate discussion and debate on issues relevant to degrowth.]
Authors: Klaus Bosselmann, Peter G. Brown and Brendan Mackey
On 4-6 June 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) or the “Rio+20 Conference”will take place with the objectives to (a) secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, (b) assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and (c) address new and emerging challenges. The focus of the Conference includes the following two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.
In response to the agenda for Rio+20, we address here a major problem in sustainable development that brings together the issues of a green economy and institutional arrangements: how can we make more secure, abundant and widely shared those classes of public goods that are central to sustainable development but which cannot be satisfactorily addressed through market-based macroeconomic policy instruments? In addressing this question, we take as a presupposition that the international community’s search for more sustainable ways of living is to be guided by ethical principles as articulated in international hard and soft law, along with civil society declarations. To stress this point, we make reference to relevant principles from key documents and in particular the Earth Charter; an ethical framework for a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.