Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development

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Continuation along current development pathways is not sustainable. Current technologies and production practices and the consumption patterns of modern societies are leading to global warming and ecological destruction. Continuing down this road will put humanity on a collision course with planet Earth. A massive shift towards green technologies and sustainable production practices will be needed in order to secure decent livelihoods for present and future generations of humankind. In Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development, renowned experts provide a variety of insights about feasible pathways for the required technological transformations. They spell out the behavioural and policy changes that would need to accompany the next green technological revolution, as well as the complexities of undoing locked in technologies and infrastructure in energy systems and agricultural value chains. They conclude that it can all be done, but not without much improved national innovation systems and drastic shifts in incentives and regulatory frameworks to induce the necessary shifts in public and private investment patterns. The macroeconomic costs, they contend, are quite affordable for societies worldwide.



Achieving sustainable development: Investment and macroeconomic challenges

There is an emerging consensus holding that sustainable development requires the implementation of policies to pursue, simultaneously, along with development goals in various domains. Sustainable development requires the adoption of strategies to expand people’s choices in developed and developing countries, to protect the environment, and to preserve peace and security (United Nations, 2012). Notwithstanding the multiple dimensions of sustainability, its attainment hinges upon the capacity of civilization to avert a rise in world’s temperature that could trigger events of catastrophic consequences. Key to the goal of averting undue increases in the world’s temperature is the transformation of the energy system away from its heavy reliance on fossil fuels and toward alternative sources, notably renewables. Transforming the world energy system calls for strong leadership, carefully designed policies, behavioral changes, and large investments in developed and developing countries. While it is difficult to come up with an exact estimate of the additional investment required to build a global sustainable energy system, an often-cited estimate hovers around 0.7 trillion dollars per year between 2011 and 2030; this is around 1 percent of the world’s GDP.


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