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Tags: Bertelsmann Stiftung Salzburg Trilogue, climate change, development, economic growth, environment, food security, free markets, global governance, international institutions, modernization, Special Series, Special Series: Global Governance -- Global Comparisons, Sustainability, water resources Stephan Richter discusses Brexit on Germany's ARD-Presseclub (April 14, 2019)Publisher's welcome What is Globalism?
We are using more resources than the earth can provide, exceeding its capacity to sustain us.
Unless we change course radically, the consequences will be severe, affecting the habitability for life on earth, including humans.
At the heart of the problem of global governance, as Seán Cleary, founder of the Future World Foundation, argues, is the fact that political leaders are accountable to national electorates, while many threats are transnational, even global.
The “Westphalian system” of international politics, says Pascal Lamy, until recently the director general of the World Trade Organization, “allows all nations to dismiss any requirements coming from the global system to safeguard humanity’s long-term survival as acts of interference in their internal, national affairs.” As a result, the prospects for effective global governance are deteriorating.
Editor’s note: This text is the introductory essay of the book “In Search of a Sustainable Future,” which was just published by the Brookings Institution Press.
The essays compiled in this publication, of which the Bertelsmann Stiftung and The Globalist are co-editors, were adapted from statements and presentations given by their authors at the Salzburg Trilogue conferences in 20, hosted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs.In the wake of the global financial and economic crisis that commenced in 2008, restoring the global economy to robust growth has again become the key priority in almost all countries, including the eurozone, which is struggling with its sovereign debt crisis.At the same time, the traditional growth paradigm offers false comfort.In concrete terms, it is important to unveil reasons for the gap between civil society’s disclosed expectations about a new development model and political interests that prevent these changes from being implemented.Ways and means on how this gap can be addressed have to be further explored and revealed to the public in order to spark desire for action.This inconvenient truth is by now well established, scientifically validated and globally acknowledged, except for some voices in the United States.Even so, we continue to live as if we had an extra planet at our disposal.Otherwise, the differences in culture and economic development among countries are too large to develop a common agenda for addressing challenges.Existing international institutions and fora have proven unable to produce collective action to effectively address the challenges of sustainable development.One thing is for sure: The cumulative pressure the human species is putting on the planet is sapping its resources and resilience.The combination of population growth and economic growth (including changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns as wealth increases) places excessive demands on the environment.