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Über dieses Buch

This book provides an innovative approach to sustainable development, one based on insights gleaned from the Industrial Revolution to the present, and which highlights the importance of aligning economic interests with sustainable development considerations. It investigates how a broad-based systematic approach can be used to develop societies sustainably by integrating environmental issues into the capitalist system without value-laden approaches, which produce little more than politics and inaction as we are witnessing today. The proposed approach focuses on realigning the financial markets to providing capital at reasonable cost to fuel innovation towards sustainable development across the entire economy. This requires government policies that level the playing field and also intervene strategically in cases where the playing field is weak or missing . Intended for researchers, policy-makers and graduate students, the book will also benefit non-governmental organizations, economists and the general public.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Frame of Reference

Abstract
The Kyoto Protocol from 1997 heralded a new era toward a sustainable future many believed; however, it should come as no surprise that little has happened. While some might argue that it is because some has not ratified the agreement, the reality is that it could never succeed. This book will make it clear why, and in response present a different approach based on insights from the Industrial Revolution. This said, to directly transfer findings from one historical context to another will not work so we are talking more about the underlying concepts, principles, and ideas resulting during and from the Industrial Revolution.
Jan Emblemsvåg

Chapter 2. The Quest so Far—And Why It Has Failed

Abstract
So far, the quest has been characterized by either high-profile summits where all the countries in the world, more or less, adjourn to discuss our challenge based on work from researchers, academics and to some extent industry, or by a whole range of less profiled initiatives that are normally more practically oriented.
Jan Emblemsvåg

Chapter 3. Risk and Uncertainty—Crucial Issues in Finance and Innovation

Abstract
Central in the capitalist system is the management of risk. It is important for technology development because lack of trust can be a significant barrier to the successful commercialization of innovations that are costly, technologically sophisticated, or potentially harmful to human health and the environment. It is also important for the financial industry as they try to anticipate future earnings and the like. To properly manage risks is not just important for investors to avoid losses, but it is important for society to continue accepting socialization of risks, which is crucial for the legitimacy of limited liability. Thus, there is a moral obligation to behave in trustworthy ways for those who want to invest and innovate in addition to managing risk.
Jan Emblemsvåg

Chapter 4. Realigning Finance to Its Original Purpose

Abstract
Financial considerations always win in society—almost. Yet, finance does at its core only two simple things:(1) It can act as an economic time machine, helping savers transport today’s surplus income into the future, or giving borrowers access to future earnings now, and (2) it can act as a safety net, insuring against floods, fires, or illness. Depending on how these transactions play out, finance determines loss and gain, what is economically viable or not and they serve as basis for management of all economic resources. Ultimately, they determine winners and losers, and because of this, finance has a huge impact on the behavior of people.
Jan Emblemsvåg

Chapter 5. Reengineering some Capitalist Cornerstones

Abstract
Some environmentalists call for an abolition of capitalism altogether, but this does hardly seem to be the way with the collapse of communism and an array of problems to solve in the aftermath. It is better to take what works and try to reengineer the rest, which is the topic of this chapter and the book at large. To argue the case, I start by outlining our response so far to what we can call the “economic problem” and put it into a historical context trying to learn from the Industrial Revolution. Note that a major element of reengineering capitalism lies in realigning the financial industry as discussed in the last chapter.
Jan Emblemsvåg

Chapter 6. Introducing Energy Accounting

Abstract
Energy Accounting—what is that? This must be the immediate response for most that hear about such a term. Most people are accustomed to “accounting” concerning money… In the simplest form, accounting is “a statement of debits and credits.” That is keeping account of what comes in and goes out of an account. This is what thousands of people do worldwide for corporations to have control of their cash flow and all other financial measures they depend upon. Yet, when it comes to a highly complex vision of becoming sustainable, this is not on anybody’s mind.
Jan Emblemsvåg

Chapter 7. Technological Development—Necessary but not Sufficient

Abstract
Economic studies estimate that technological change has contributed over half of the growth in economic output since the Great Depression and 17 percent or more in the growth of productivity since 1973. Yet, at the same time Nobel Laureate Robert Solow identified what later became called the “Solow paradox” as he once quipped that “you can see the computer-age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” The paradox has been defined as the “discrepancy between measures of investment in information technology and measures of output at the national level,” but its causes are still disputed. Some argue that recent innovations in the digital world are basically less impressive than they seem and certainly not sufficient to offset the effects of demographic change, inequality, and indebtedness, whereas others claim that it is simply a matter of time because there is significant time lag between technological progress and improvements in productivity.
Jan Emblemsvåg

Chapter 8. The Role of the Government

Abstract
The role of the government is crucial in building an effective science and innovation system—Apple, for example, would most likely never had achieved its success without the active role of the state. Furthermore, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine in the USA claim that “Since the Industrial Revolution, the growth of economies around the world has been driven largely by the pursuit of scientific understanding, the application of engineering solutions, and continual technological innovation.”
Jan Emblemsvåg

Chapter 9. The End of the Beginning

Abstract
Reengineering the capitalist system to foster sustainable development is a hefty goal. Yet, this is precisely what we, the inhabitants of the Earth, must do if we want our children to inherent an Earth that can nurture future generations. On July 3–4, 2012, the IMD’s Center for Sustainability Leadership held a colloquium on strategic innovation for sustainability, and one of the viewpoint papers closes like this “Ultimately, solving the interlinked macro social and environmental challenges require game-changing innovation.” This is very true, and it requires so much more than what we have done so far, but how do we change the game?
Jan Emblemsvåg

Backmatter

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