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Sustainable development policy: goals, targets and political cycles

  • Nuno Quental
  • Júlia M. Lourenço
  • Fernando Nunes da Silva
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    This paper describes the global political milestones of greater importance to the emergence and evolution of sustainable development. In addition, it depicts the cyclical patterns of political activity dealing with sustainability and identifies the main sustainability goals and targets endorsed by several political initiatives. These tasks are accomplished through a literature review and an assessment of indicators dealing with political will. It is concluded that global sustainability governance followed an intermittent path characterized by two periods of significant accomplishments (until 1979; 1987–1995) and by two others less successful (1980–1986; 1995 onwards, interrupted by a peak around 2000). Peaks in political activity coincide with the decennial Earth Summits, suggesting their major influence as catalysts of more profound societal and political action. Sustainability concerns and goals shifted from an emphasis on pollution control and availability of natural resources to a more balanced position that puts human development at the center. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/sd.416
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January/February)
    Pages: 15-29

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:19:y:2011:i:1:p:15-29
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1719

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