Sustainable Development, The Business Case
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Business Case, (2002) advocates the need for further development in an already developed and developing world. Its main aim is to increase profitability for its members, whilst creating the conditions for future growth. Its primary focus is on the business curve and how organisations can become more competitive in an already competitive market. They claim; business is the most potent force for wealth creation, which alleviates poverty and creates higher levels of development.
Brundtland outlined – ‘the environment is where we all live, and development is what we do to improve our lot on that abode, therefore, the Business Case would appear to have a good case for aligning itself with this direction. However, the extent of what we do to improve our lot is open to interpretation.
Can the business case really claim to meet the three pillars of Sustainable Development? There are many opposing groups who argue [from differing points of view] that it cannot. This creates a disorganized approach consisting of varying trends and statistics on the ability of the planet’s to cope with its need to develop.
Across developing countries millions of the world’s poorest populations are already being forced to deal with the impacts of climate change. Human population has grown almost ten-fold over the past three centuries, and with that expansion comes greater pressures for the provision of goods and services. See Fighting Climate Change; Human Solidarity in a Divided World, (2007/2008) for more details on this issue.
In confronting the threat on climate change and the potential for catastrophic consequences there is a real case to develop in a way that is sustainable and long-lasting. A range of initiatives have been established by intergovernmental organisations including; renewable energy partnerships, carbon trading schemes and fiscal initiatives. However, as per the business case there are many individuals and organisations who refute the claims put forward by pro climate change bodies and state the rhetoric used is nothing more than scare mongering. This creates another conflict of interest between perceptions for those who feel climate change is a myth and asthe UK only contribute to 2% of the world’s emission the larger polluters should contribute more, to those who claim the UK should lead by example and increase our current carbon emission reduction targets.
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