Criti- cism of internal inconsistencies include that SDG 1 accounts for poverty only monetarily, not in terms of human needs, and without facilitating the redistribu- tion of wealth, suggesting that it therefore cannot meet its goal of poverty reduc- tion
long-term economic growth is at odds with ecological sus- tainability
The need for remaining within a safe operating space for humanity also encompasses the need for trans- forming work, creating new forms of work, and terminating work, since the work process is the mediating link between society and the environmen
“[T]he strong sustainability criteria (...) is derived from the recognition that natural resources are essential inputs in economic production, consumption or welfare that cannot be substituted for by physical or human capital(...) it is understood that some environmental components are unique and that some environmental processes may be irreversible (over relevant time horizons). (...) Strong sustainability focuses on ecosystems and environmental assets that are critical in the sense of providing unique and essential services (such as life-support) or unique and irreplaceable non-use values. The ozone layer is an example of the first; songbirds or coral reefs might be an example of the sec- ond.” (Ayres et al. 2001, pp. 4–5
The research fields of degrowth and sustainable work are based on the paradigm of strong sustainability that views the economy as a sub-system of society, in itself a sub-system of the environment
urrently postgrowth/degrowth scenarios, while politi- cally complicated, are humanity’s best bet to avoiding a devastating 1.7 degrees of warming by 2030, as predicted by the latest IPCC report
Impor- tantly, the focus of degrowth lies in limiting the economic expansion of the Global North to give people in the Global South the chance to meet their material needs for wellbeing within the bounds of the planet
Degrowth is thus about reorienting the economy towards societal welfare
the key point is limiting economic expansion
beyond what is needed for societal welfare to avoid ecological collapse – starting with the affluent North
Degrowth in the Global North is needed most of all for the “buy-in” of the Global South to long-term social- ecological sustainability. Current lifestyles in the Global North are deeply unsustain- able and unjust (Wiedmann et al. 2020). Replicating the old pattern of industrial development of the Global North in the Global South will place all (both Global North and Global South) outside the safe operating space for humanity with plan- etary boundaries
Sustainable work also makes practical and normative suggestions for the societal organisation of work
Work should: (1) facilitate mixed work options for both men and women including paid/unpaid, self-providing, and community work; (2) allow for a “self-determined sustainable way of life for men and women”; (3) guarantee long-term health; (4) provide fair pay for all genders (including income and transfers); and (5) be in line with ecologically and socially compatible production of goods and services
It sees the state (as well as the field of international policy-making) as a contested terrain of political action, rather than a unitary actor making simple mana- gerial decisions based on rationalit
the basis for selecting indi- cators for the new SDG 8 goal is a review of indicators to measure societal progress towards social and environmental welfare in line with environmental science and strong sustainability, relevant to economy and work.
We follow the policy advice on (strong) sustainability indicators when propos- ing the new SDG 8 framework.
The principles of strong sustainability exclude aggregate mon- etary indices as a relevant measure of the economy’s environmental sustainability as well as financial measurements of the environment, due to strong uncertainty, value incommensurability, and the preanalytic vision of the economy as a sub-system of the biosphere
The main shortcoming of indicators sets (such as the SDGs themselves), on the other hand, is that they can easily become overwhelming due to the number of dif- ferent information included
succinct and simple policy tool
largely focus on non-aggregate indicators of scale of the environmental impact of the economy, distribution of welfare and harm, and subjective wellbeing, as relevant measures of sustainable welfare for the new SDG 8 indicator set.
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