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In 1992, governments at the Rio Earth Summit made a historic commitment to sustainable development—an economic system that promotes the health of both people and ecosystems. Twenty years and several summits later, human civilization has never been closer to ecological collapse, a third of humanity lives in poverty, and another 2 billion people are projected to join the human race over the next 40 years. How will we move toward sustainable prosperity equitably shared among all even as our cities strain to provide decent jobs, housing, transportation, and social services, and as our ecological systems decline?
To promote discussion around this vital topic, State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity showcases creative policies and fresh approaches that are advancing sustainable development in the twenty-first century. Written by international experts, the series will present a comprehensive look at current trends in global economics and sustainability, a policy toolbox of clear solutions to some of our most pressing environmental and human challenges, and a path for reforming economic institutions to promote both ecological health and prosperity.
State of the World 2012 builds on three decades of experience to offer a clear, pragmatic look at the current state of global ecological systems and the economic forces that are reshaping them—and how we can craft more-sustainable and equitable economies in the future.