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6  JOSE A. PUPPIM DE OLIVEIRA

political changes, such as a stronger labour movement, which in turn sparked many socialist revolutions around the world. The possibilities from the industrial revolution expanded the capacity of humans to interfere with nature. First, there was a huge increase in the use of natural resources, both to produce inputs to the industrial pro­ cesses and to feed the machines with fuel. In addition, the new, more efficient forms of transportation enabled industries to bring in inputs and to reach distant markets. However, the by-products of the increase in production, such as air and water pollution, were felt across the big industrial cities, as well as in the less evident degradation of ecosystems far away from the cities owing to an increase in agricultural production or the exploitation of natural resources. Those rapid changes in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries caused profound changes in the relationship between humans and nature. Many societies aimed to increase their material wealth in order to improve their well-being, and, indeed, society has been richer on average since the industrial revolution. “Development”, which initially was synonymous with economic growth, was pursued at any cost. The social and environmental problems caused by rapid industrialization and urbanization – such as air pollution, income inequalities and lack of sanitation in the cities – were regarded as the price to be paid for “development”. In the first quarter of the twentieth century, this seemed to be the universal view, and not only in the capitalist world. In the Soviet Union, industrialization without concern for the environmental consequences was also the motto for its development, as portrayed in a poster from the Soviet Era that says “the smoke of chimneys is the breath of Soviet Russia”.1 Environmental pollution was almost synonymous with “development” and even was something desirable. This was the economic development at any cost practised in modern society, in both capitalist and communist regimes, in the first half of the twentieth century.

The rise of the debates and the governance of sustainable development The term “sustainable development” stemmed from many of the social movements in society demanding social and political changes, such as feminism, the civil and human rights movements and pacifism. The evolving discussions in the environmental conservation debate brought together the different movements when the term “sustainable development” was coined and popularized in the 1980s. Even though the “green” agenda is still dominant in the debates on sustainable development, this agenda has changed significantly since the voice of the other social movements

Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Promises and Concerns  

Debates on green growth and environmental governance tend to be general in nature, and are often conceptual or limited to single disciplines...

Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Promises and Concerns  

Debates on green growth and environmental governance tend to be general in nature, and are often conceptual or limited to single disciplines...