Right to development, economic crisis and sustainability policies – a new leftist agenda
20 years after the Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro will once again become United Nations territory and host heads of State who are to discuss the future of development. The 1992 Earth Summit built consensus on the concept of “sustainable development” – environment-friendly and socially-responsible development that is also sparing in the use of resources. Nonetheless, apart from this conceptual agreement very little progress has been made to materialize sustainability within each country’s reality. Our development is still sustained on limited natural resources. The impacts of environmental degradation and pollution on our lives, the rising concern with energy supply, below-standards working conditions, and severe social inequality – notwithstanding economic growth – shape our present economic pattern. The interrelated crises we are witnessing today– climate, financial, country economies, social cohesion– are crystal clear indications of the limits of the present path. Though such signs have brought back the theme of “sustainable development” to discussion arenas and political agendas, in practical terms there is no concrete idea of how to achieve “the sustainable future we want”.
Against this backdrop, the activity organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Perseu Abramo Foundation will bring together scholars, unionists and progressive politicians to discuss how to shift to a development path that is driven by social well-being and environmental preservation.