Standing up for a Sustainable World (2022)

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The world has witnessed extraordinary economic growth, poverty reduction and increased life expectancy and population since the end of WWII, but it has occurred at the expense of undermining life support systems on Earth and subjecting future generations to the real risk of destabilising the planet. This timely book exposes and explores this colossal environmental cost and the dangerous position the world is now in. Standing up for a Sustainable World is written by and about key individuals who have not only understood the threats to our planet, but also become witness to them and confronted them.

Combining the voices of leading academics as well as climate change and environmental activists, entrepreneurs and investors, the book highlights the urgent action that needs to be taken to foster sustainable, resilient and inclusive development in the face of powerful systemic forces. Chapters look ahead to a better path for human wellbeing, security and dignity, offering insight to ways this can be created. The book as a whole shares the visions and hopes of those fighting in a myriad of ways to make a sustainable world, attempting to tip the balance away from the crushing loss of biodiversity, rising sea levels and increasing global mean temperature, whilst increasing living standards across all dimensions, particularly for the poorest people.

An imperative read for those concerned about the future of our planet, this book showcases not only why urgent action is now imperative, but also what changes are necessary for a sustainable, resilient and equitable world. It offers crucial insights for those interested in the dynamics of political action, in how change occurs, and in effective communication. Environmental economics, as well as environmental studies and human geography students and scholars more broadly will find this an invigorating read.

Critical Acclaim

(Video) Stand Up For a Sustainable World: Opening keynote.

‘The breadth of coverage is impressive both topically and geographically. The science is accurately depicted, and tales are realistically explained. This unusually well-written book is available directly from the publisher via open access. Highly recommended.’
– R E O’Connor, CHOICE Review of the Week

‘The text is frequently passionate, but never shrill. The breadth of coverage is impressive both topically and geographically. The science is accurately depicted, and tales are realistically explained. This unusually well-written book is available directly from the publisher via open access.’
– R E O'Connor, CHOICE

‘This is the first major attempt at conveying to the world, both the need for urgent action to curb climate change, and the multiple channels that can be activated to achieve that goal. Leading academics, environmental activists, entrepreneurs and investors have been asked to lay out ideas on how to make economic development more sustainable and more inclusive. This book is a must-read for all economists and more broadly anyone interested about making the world a better place.’
– Philippe Aghion, College de France, and London School of Economics, UK

‘Standing Up for a Sustainable World underscores the inexorable link between social justice and environmental justice. While people living in extreme poverty are the least responsible for climate change and environmental damage, they are undoubtedly the most impacted by its consequences. Therefore, it is urgent and essential to strengthen the resilience to climate change of people living in poverty, but only through social and economic change that leaves no-one behind, and which actively involves them in making decisions that affect their lives.’
– Donald Lee, President of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, UK and previously at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, US

‘We are confronted with loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services globally at unprecedented level. This could be attributed to a number of factors: climate change, deforestation, land use change for agricultural expansion, economic imbalance due to unfair trading practises. If we do not take urgent and immediate actions to address these issues, we might suffer irreversible changes affecting the future of our planet and the fate of future generations. This book provides expert opinion and forward looking thoughts to current global challenges. The book links science with policy in ways that will prompt policy makers into actions. Hence, I wholeheartedly recommend the book to be read by all interested in nature’s health and sustainable benefits.’
– Sebsebe Demissew, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, (foreign) Member of the Royal Society, UK and Co-Chair (2013-8) of the IPBES Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, Germany

(Video) Stand up for a sustainable world - Post-Covid: Solidarity and sustainability are shaping the future

‘It is easy to say, as is frequently repeated, that the future of humanity on earth is at risk. The difficult challenge is to understand the empirical basis of that terrible fear, and also to assess, with best professional scrutiny, what we can do to resist the environmental catastrophe. It is wonderful that we can turn to this wide-ranging study for guidance on each.’
– Amartya Sen, Harvard University, US

‘Reading Standing up for a Sustainable World is essential to understand our times. Claude Henry, Johan Rockström and Nicholas Stern, three internationally renowned academics, have collected the voices of those – activists, entrepreneurs, academics – who are taking action to build a more resilient world. We should learn from them in order to change our economic and social model, reduce inequalities and lay the foundations for a better future.’
– Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France

'We are clearly at a fork in the road in the quest to ensure that our children and grandchildren have a liveable planet. This unique book goes well beyond the endless projections, scenarios and storylines that promise a sustainable future but never really deliver. Instead, this book goes to “ground zero” and explores the mushrooming number of new and exciting approaches already being implemented – revolutionary energy technologies, innovative legal tactics, novel communication tools, community stands against ecological destruction, and many more. Each one on its own can’t solve the immense, urgent challenges that face humanity in our quest for long-term sustainability, but together they can move us towards the social tipping point that can deliver the future we want at the scale and in the time period that we need.’
– Will Steffen, Australian National University, and former executive director of the International Geoscience-Bioscience Programme

‘There is so much doom and gloom about the state of the environment due to our greedy plundering of the planet’s finite natural resources that many people are losing hope. Therefore Standing up for a Sustainable World: Voices of Change comes not a moment too soon: it showcases projects from around the world that illustrate what can be done to turn things around before it is too late. Projects that will provide jobs and improve things for people, animals, and the environment. It is a book everyone who cares about our future should read.’
– Jane Goodall DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace


Contributors: M. Araya, A.A. Berhe, M. Berry, A. Bizien, D. Bureau, C. Bustos, B. Chan, S. Clayton, P. Cury, A. De Wever, A. Depoux, E. Deville, M. do Socorro Costa Silva, L. Dubois, C. Dyvik, B. Erkutlu, G. Eslava-Bejarano, F. Gemenne, A. Grandjean, E. Guerin, T. Günal, S. Handford, G. Heal, S.B. Heintz, C. Henry, A.C. Hill, J. Jouzel, M. Jun, A. Lefébure, R. Maeder, E. Maibach, M.E. Mann, W. McKibben, M. Minnesma, D.R. Montgomery, P. Moore, H.F. Nakabuye, L. Neubauer, S. Nirere, D. Noonan, A.T. Oladosu, P. Omido, J. Oppenheim, R. Pandey, D. Pauly, Y. Qi, P. Ranci, J. Rockström, V. Rozo-Ángel, G. Şahin, M. Sharp, N. Smith, N. Stern, T. Sterner, C. Taylor, T. Te Whenua, M. Toussaint, S. Treyer, L. Tubiana, K. van der Heyden, J. Watts, E. Woodward, X. Zhao

(Video) Standing up for the World: Sustainability and Climate Change Panel



Preface: a collective book project – the last chance? Voluntary
actors in an ecological and economic transition xxiii

1 Science, society and a sustainable future 3
Johan Rockström and Nicholas Stern
2 Conservation psychology and climate change 10
Susan Clayton
3 Capitalism and the curse of external effects 24
Claude Henry

(Video) How We Can Make the World a Better Place by 2030 | Michael Green | TED Talks

4 Costa Rica as pioneer of a green social contract 48
Monica Araya
5 The carbon tax in Sweden 59
Thomas Sterner
6 Lessons from the Obama White House: how climate policy
really gets done 68
Alice C. Hill
7 Climate policy in China: an overview 76
Ye Qi, Xiaofan Zhao and Nicholas Stern
8 The Paris Agreement on climate change: what legacy? 103
Laurence Tubiana and Emmanuel Guerin

9 Introduction to Part II 117
Jonathan Watts
10 To protect the Amazon, defend the people of the forest 125
Maria do Socorro Costa Silva
11 Of chainsaws and grace: direct action by eco-vigilantes in
the Philippines 128
Bobby Chan
12 Social justice goes hand in hand with environmental
campaigns – and not just in Africa 131
Phyllis Omido
13 Living our values: using art and technology to campaign
for nature in Turkey 134
Birhan Erkutlu and Tuğba Günal

14 Introduction to Part III 137
Marie Toussaint and Claude Henry
15 The Urgenda case in the Netherlands: creating a revolution
through the courts 140
Marjan Minnesma
16 Juliana v. United States and the global youth-led legal
campaign for a safe climate 151
Patti Moore, Danny Noonan and Erik Woodward
17 How policymakers imperil coming generations’ future and
what to do about it 158
Ridhima Pandey
18 Protecting the rights of future generations through climate
litigation: lessons from the struggle against deforestation in
the Colombian Amazon 163
Camila Bustos, Valentina Rozo-Ángel and Gabriela Eslava-Bejarano
19 People’s Climate Case – families and youth take the EU to
court over its failure to address the climate crisis 171E. Deville, L. Dubois
Gökşen Şahin
20 Climate change claim on behalf of New Zealand’s
indigenous Māori peoples 178
Michael Sharp, Nicole Smith and Tania Te Whenua
21 France: L’Affaire du Siècle : the story of a mass
mobilization for climate 185
Marie Toussaint

22 Introduction to Part IV 194
Claude Henry
23 Fridays For Future – FFF Europe and beyond 196
Anuna De Wever, Luisa Neubauer and Katrien van der Heyden
24 The Fridays For Future Movement in Uganda and Nigeria 211
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, Sadrach Nirere and Adenike Titilope Oladosu
25 The origins of School Strike 4 Climate NZ 218
Sophie Handford and Raven Maeder
26 231
William “Bill” McKibben
27 How to become an engineer in the ecological crisis? 234
Antoine Bizien, Elsa Deville and Lucas Dubois
28 Ecological aspirations of youth: how higher education
could fall between two stools 238
Alessia Lefébure

29 Introduction to Part V 247
Nicholas Stern and Charlotte Taylor
30 Catching mighty North Sea winds 251
Claude Henry
31 Providing electricity from rice husk in rural India 254
Claude Henry
32 Heat pumps for decarbonizing buildings 256
Dominique Bureau
33 The rise of supercapacitors: making electric vehicles as
convenient as ordinary ones 261
Claude Henry
34 From scooter to boat: innovations in electric transport in
cities of Southeast Asia 264
Pippo Ranci
35 The third attempt at the electric car might be the successful one 271
Geoffrey Heal
36 Solar cookstoves for adaptation to degrading natural conditions 274
Claude Henry
37 Carbon capture from ambient air: a brake on climate change? 278
Claude Henry
38 Ecological engineering in coastal protection 283
Claude Henry
39 Better to corrupt plastics than the environment 286
Pippo Ranci
40 Drip irrigation: Daniel Hillel’s legacy 291
Claude Henry
41 Making the case for agroecological innovation: the need
for technical but also political entrepreneurs 294
Sébastien Treyer
42 Radical transformation in global supply chains: can new
business models be based on biodiversity in the agrifood
industry? 297
Sébastien Treyer
43 Ethan Brown – the protein revolutionary 301
Geoffrey Heal
44 How to make a sustainable living in a tropical forest: the
case of Suruí Indians in the Amazon rainforest – success
under threat 304
Claude Henry
45 Migrants to repopulate depopulated villages – Riace in
Calabria, Italy and its mayor Mimmo Lucano 307
Pippo Ranci
46 How Loos-en-Gohelle, a derelict mining town in the north
of France, has become a standard in sustainable development 312
Michel Berry

47 Introduction to Part VI 321
Nicholas Stern and Charlotte Taylor
48 Unleashing the power of financial markets for the green transition 325
Jeremy Oppenheim and Catharina Dyvik
49 The case for fossil fuel divestment 339
Stephen B. Heintz
50 How can finance be used to combat climate change? 349
Alain Grandjean
51 China’s pioneering green finance 358
Ma Jun

(Video) Acting for climate and biodiversity: key conditions for a sustainable world

52 Introduction to Part VII 368
Johan Rockström
53 Communicating climate change science to diverse audiences 374
Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
54 Global marine fisheries: avoiding further collapses 382
Philippe Cury and Daniel Pauly
55 Why are we so much more afraid of COVID-19 than of
climate change? Early lessons from a health crisis for the
communication of climate change 394
François Gemenne and Anneliese Depoux
56 Communicating the climate emergency: imagination,
emotion, action 399
Genevieve Guenther
57 Climate change: from research to communication 407
Jean Jouzel
58 Communicating biodiversity loss and its link to economics 412
Georgina M. Mace
59 Helping trusted messengers find their voice on climate change 424
Edward Maibach
60 From climate scientist to climate communicator: a process
of evolution 431
Michael E. Mann
61 Communicating science beyond the ivory tower 436
David R. Montgomery



What are some good sustainability questions? ›

Here are five questions around sustainability that you should be able to answer as an organization:
  • Does your organization have a sustainability program? ...
  • What sustainability challenges does your organization face? ...
  • How do you compare to competition? ...
  • How are you measuring progress? ...
  • What business value have you seen?

How can we make a sustainable world? ›

6 Simple Tips to Contribute to a More Sustainable World
  1. Educate yourself. “Education is the most powerful weapon we have for changing the world” – Nelson Mandela. ...
  2. Buy second-hand clothes. The term vintage clothing has become trendy now-a-days. ...
  3. Make sure waste is waste. ...
  4. Reduce your food waste. ...
  5. Rethink Transportation.

What is sustainable development Question Answer? ›

The Brundtland Report defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

What does sustainability mean to you interview question? ›

What is sustainability? Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources.

What is sustainability * Your answer? ›

Sustainability consists of fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, while ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being.

What is a good example of sustainability? ›

Zero Waste As An Example Of Sustainability

The zero-waste movement is a lifestyle that encourages people to use all types of resources in a circular way, just like the natural world does.

What is your idea of a sustainable world? ›

Sustainable development means "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Brundtland Commission). That means cutting only enough trees per year that can be regrown.

What does a sustainable world mean to you? ›

"In a sustainable world, human needs would be met without chronic harm to the environment and without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Why do we need a sustainable world? ›

Sustainability improves the quality of our lives, protects our ecosystem and preserves natural resources for future generations. In the corporate world, sustainability is associated with an organization's holistic approach, taking into account everything, from manufacturing to logistics to customer service.

How do you answer interview question about sustainability? ›

Your answer should reflect your personal values and how you would implement them in a company's operations. Example: “I think that companies need to start thinking about their environmental impact from the beginning, rather than trying to retrofit sustainable practices later.

What makes you explain sustainable development the way you do? ›

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

What does sustainability mean to you give an example? ›

Key Takeaways. Sustainability is ability to maintain or support a process over time. Sustainability is often broken into three core concepts: economic, environmental, and social. Many businesses and governments have committed to sustainable goals, such as reducing their environmental footprints and conserving resources ...

What are the 3 main areas to consider in sustainability? ›

Sustainability is often represented diagrammatically. The figure at the top of this page suggests that there are three pillars of sustainability – economic viability, environmental protection and social equity.

What are the 5 characteristics of sustainability? ›

Characteristics of a Sustainable Community
  • Saved lives.
  • Reduced damage to property.
  • Reduced economic losses.
  • Minimized social disruption.
  • Ability of local government to resume operations quickly.
  • Shorter recovery period for the community.

What does sustainability mean to you essay? ›

Sustainability is about survival and taking only what you need, then let it replenish at a rate that keeps the source producing so that it can be taken from again without depleting it completely. It means creating and maintaining an environment in which the beauty of life can live on for generations.

What are the benefits of sustainable development? ›

The three advantages of sustainable development are as follows: It helps in ensuring a better life for present and future generations. Lowers the impact on the environment by reducing air, water, and soil pollution. Helps in achieving long-term economic growth.

How important is sustainable development? ›

Sustainable development practices help countries grow in ways that adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, which will in turn help to protect important natural resources for ours and future generations. By the year 2050, it is estimated that our global population will likely reach 9 billion people.

How do you write a sustainability statement? ›

Let's have a look at six steps you can take to develop your sustainability report:
  1. Set your goals before you start. ...
  2. Identify issues and choose indicators. ...
  3. Expect trouble in data collection. ...
  4. Analyse the data critically. ...
  5. State key observations. ...
  6. Communicate in a way that people will listen.
3 Jul 2019

What are the 5 key concepts that support sustainable practices? ›

Key concepts include the protection of the natural environment, choice of non-toxic materials, reduction and reuse of resources, waste minimization, and the use of life-cycle cost analysis.

What are three benefits of working towards sustainability? ›

By implementing changes, you will have a smaller carbon footprint and reduce the number of toxins released into the atmosphere. Future generations ultimately benefit from improved air and water quality, fewer landfills and more renewable energy sources.

What are the 4 aspects of sustainability? ›

The term sustainability is broadly used to indicate programs, initiatives and actions aimed at the preservation of a particular resource. However, it actually refers to four distinct areas: human, social, economic and environmental – known as the four pillars of sustainability.

What are the 6 major goals of sustainability? ›

The 17 SDGs are: No poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, Reduced Inequality, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and ...

What is one of the main sustainability benefits? ›

Socially, sustainable practices can help strengthen community bonds, improve quality of life and provide hope for a better future. Environmentally, sustainable practices can help protect natural resources, mitigate and adapt to climate change and promote biodiversity.

What is sustainable development in your own words essay? ›

Sustainable development aims to facilitate growth that aligns with the present needs without compromising with the availability of resources for future generations. Sustainability is all about long term preservation of energy and resources rather than consuming them incessantly for satiating short-term needs.

What qualities do we need to contribute for sustainable development? ›

Sustainability Skills to Make a Difference
  • Foundational Knowledge. ...
  • Strong Leadership. ...
  • An Ability to Identify Strategic Opportunities. ...
  • Forward-Thinking. ...
  • Creative Problem-Solving. ...
  • Calculate and Pitch Potential Value. ...
  • Basic Data Skills. ...
  • Effective Communication of Purpose.
3 Jun 2021

What are the best steps towards sustainability? ›

Ten steps towards sustainability
  • Don't waste water. Take a short shower rather than a bath. ...
  • Diversify your diet. ...
  • Keep soils and water clean. ...
  • Pick ugly fruit and vegetables. ...
  • Don't let labels fool you. ...
  • Limit your plastic. ...
  • Store food wisely. ...
  • Love your leftovers.
1 Sept 2016

What is sustainability strategy? ›

A sustainability or corporate responsibility strategy is a prioritised set of actions. It provides an agreed framework to focus investment and drive performance, as well as engage internal and external stakeholders. The starting point for any strategy needs to be why the company is in business.

What are the 4 issues to consider when discussing sustainability? ›

However, it actually refers to four distinct areas: human, social, economic and environmental – known as the four pillars of sustainability.

What are the five great sustainability challenges? ›

Top 8 Environmental Sustainability Issues We Need to Address
  • #1: Climate Change. ...
  • #2: Natural Resource Use. ...
  • #3: Waste Production. ...
  • #4: Water Pollution. ...
  • #5: Deforestation. ...
  • #6: Overfishing. ...
  • #7: Ocean Acidification. ...
  • #8: Air Pollution.
26 Oct 2021

What are the 5 P's of sustainability? ›

At the heart of the 2030 Agenda are five critical dimensions: people, prosperity, planet, partnership and peace, also known as the 5Ps.

Why do we need sustainability? ›

Sustainability improves the quality of our lives, protects our ecosystem and preserves natural resources for future generations. In the corporate world, sustainability is associated with an organization's holistic approach, taking into account everything, from manufacturing to logistics to customer service.

What is the biggest challenge in sustainability? ›

Sustainability is not only related to the environmental issues. It is also related to social equity and economic development. However, the main challenge of sustainability is still strongly correlated with the preservation of a communal environment for future generations.

What is the greatest sustainability issue we need to address and why? ›

Climate change is the big environmental problem that humanity will face over the next decade, but it isn't the only one. We'll take a look at some of them — from water shortages and loss of biodiversity to waste management — and discuss the challenges we have ahead of us.

What are the principles of sustainable? ›

The five principles of sustainable development are as follows:
  • Conservation of the ecosystem or the environment.
  • Conservation of biodiversity of the planet.
  • Sustainable development of the society.
  • Conservation of human resources.
  • Population control and management.

What are the 7 R's of sustainability? ›

Getting started with the 7Rs: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Regift, Recycle.


1. How to Power a More Sustainable World | Renewable Energy | Forward Thinking | ENDEVR Documentary
2. Performance: A Conversation about Shaping a Sustainable World Without Compromise
(Audi Canada)
3. 5 transformational policies for a prosperous and sustainable world | Johan Rockström
4. Delivering a sustainable world | Hubertus Drinkuth | TEDxBerlin
(TEDx Talks)
5. Stand Together for a Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World
(IFOAM - Organics International)
6. How silence can lead us to a sustainable world | Laura Storm | TEDxHamburg
(TEDx Talks)

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