Essay Paper on the Effects of Globalization
Although protection of the environment has been a topic present since the late nineteenth century, it has only come into prominence as an issue in the late twentieth century. The first time that the issue brought enough attention to bring together many great minds and governments, came in the form of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment. This conference established the first ever North-South relationship in respect to the environment. What followed was many more conferences and agreements established to protect the earth. Agreements such as: the Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution Agreement, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, in addition to many others.
In 1987 the UN’s World Commission on Environment and Development, produced the Brundtland Report. This report aimed to fix the plethora of earlier environmental agreements. Earlier agreements which failed to recognize the need to harmonize development considerations when implementing its environmental protection plans. The Brundtland Report described sustainable development as the “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It also centered its attention “on finding strategies to promote economic and social development in ways that avoided environmental degradation, over-exploitation or pollution, and [moved] away from less productive debates about whether to prioritize development or the environment.”
Twelve years have passed, and many movements have been made concerning the well being of the environment, since the introduction of the Brundtland Report. When examining the effectiveness of the report we will be able to see the effect that globalization has had on the implementation of substantial development during the late twentieth century. The Brundtland Report brought about a new way of thinking in the area of economics when concerning the environment. The report acknowledged that to keep serious problems in third world from worsening, nations needed to push for economic growth. This would create the “capital necessary to remove poverty, improve living conditions, and move to a world with fewer inequities. This was certainly not support for growth for growth’s sake…but rather an impassioned cry for a better world.”
The report had hoped to create “lifestyles more in tune with the ecological realities of the planet”. It also desired to create this form of living by encouraging nations not to overuse their natural resources, but to work to improve them and then to utilize these enhanced resource that had been created as a result. “Ignoring the depreciation of capital assets is a recipe for bankruptcy in business, and it is becoming apparent that this is the case for planet management as well. Environmental degradation incurs an enormous cost, but it has never been incorporated into national accounts. Neither do the prices of resources and environmental services such as clean air and the protection of watersheds reflect their true value, either in the economy or to society…
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