543 pages, 237 colour photos and colour illustrations, colour tables
Jeffrey D. Sachs has shown himself to be one of the world's most perceptive and original analysts of global development in his groundbreaking books, including The End of Poverty and Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet. Now, in this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice. Sachs outlines the holistic way forward: sustainable development.
This provocative work offers readers, students, activists, environmentalists, and policy makers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways they need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Far more than a rhetorical exercise, The Age of Sustainable Development is designed to inform, inspire, and spur action. Based on Sachs's twelve years as director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, his thirteen years advising the United Nations secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, and his recent presentation of these ideas in a popular online course, The Age of Sustainable Development is a landmark publication and a clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.
"Jeff Sachs' admirable book explains what sustainable development means, why it matters, and our history in relation to our environment. It shows how the pattern of growth we have followed has placed intense strains on our planet and generated severe risks to our lives and livelihoods. Above all it explains clearly where we can go and how to get there. It describes a potential future of great attraction in terms of well-being, community and prosperity, properly understood. It should, and I hope it will, strengthen both the understanding of the great choices we face and the resolve to act. It is a splendid achievement."
– Lord Nicholas Stern, Grantham Research Institute
"There are very few authors that can so effectively rally the masses around an important cause – one that in this case concerns our collective future. There are still too few leaders with knowledge about global sustainable development challenges to affect the scalable changes that are needed. Professor Sachs' book is a comprehensive summary of complex issues, but it breaks them down and makes them digestible and understandable while making the imperative clear. It will clearly contribute significantly in closing the gap between science and policy, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for action."
– Hans Vestberg, CEO, Ericsson
"A comprehensive and incisive overview of some of the biggest challenges facing the world today and further confirmation, if it were needed, that Jeffrey Sachs remains one of the most astute and authoritative observers of the age of sustainable development."
– Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
"As the concept of sustainable development comes of age, Jeffrey Sachs takes us on a journey from the intellectual and normative origins to the science of complexity which define today's development choices. In a compelling and often personal and engaged narrative, The Age of Sustainable Development reads like a 'looking glass' through which to glimpse the future – a future still characterised by more questions than answers as to how 9 billion will – together – govern the sustainable development of our planet."
– Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General & Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
"In this era marked by geo-political and ecological crises, unspeakable structural violence and unprecedented inequality on the one hand and breath-taking advances in science and technology and untold opportunities on the other, a new narrative for social, economic and environmental justice is urgently needed. Prof Sachs, distinguished thinker, commentator and activist, charts a clear and compelling path, both moral and scientific, which cuts neatly through the increasing complexity and interdependence to the realization of a holistic vision of sustainable development. A very timely handbook to inform and empower all those who have a stake in the post-2015 debate on the future of our planet."
– Michel Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS
"The Age of Sustainable Development is my candidate for most important book in current circulation. Inspirational, encyclopedic in coverage, moving smoothly from discipline to discipline as though composed by multiple experts, Sachs explains why humanity must attain sustainability as its highest priority – and he outlines the best ways to do it."
– Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
1. Introduction to Sustainable Development
2. An Unequal World
3. A Brief History of Economic Development
4. Why Some Countries Developed While Others Stayed Poor
5. Ending Extreme Poverty
6. Planetary Boundaries
7. Social Inclusion
8. Education for All
9. Health for All
10. Food Security
11. Resilient Cities
12. Climate Change
13. Saving Biodiversity and Protecting Ecosystem Services
14. Sustainable Development Goals
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Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, best-selling author, and syndicated columnist. He serves as the director of the Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and professor of health policy and management at Columbia University. He is special advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals and held the same position under former secretary-general Kofi Annan. He is director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, as well as cofounder and director of the Millennium Villages Project. He has authored three New York Times best-sellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty; Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet; and The Price of Civilization. His most recent book is To Move the World: JFK's Quest for Peace.