Trinidad - Sustainability has become the foundation for almost all economic thinking nowadays. It is essential not only to economic recovery today, but to ensuring peace and security tomorrow.
Factoring sustainability into all our thinking is necessary because, as a global society, we are living on the edge. The last two years have brought a series of crises: energy, food, climate change, and global recession. I fear that worse may be in store. Indeed, today's global economic crisis, if not handled properly, could evolve into a full-scale political crisis - one defined by social unrest, weakened governments, and angry publics who have lost faith in their leaders and their future.
In addition, we are entering a new age of austerity. We are facing more problems with fewer resources. National budgets have shrunk. Aid programs are being squeezed. Voluntary contributions are drying up.
Yet there is a third reality, which provides cause for optimism: the challenges that we face are interrelated, so, if we are smart about it, if we spot and utilize the inter-connections among these problems, solutions to each problem can be solutions to all. We can get more bang for our collective buck, peso, and real, and find effective, efficient, enduring paths to a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future.
The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the International Business Times. Copyright Project Syndicate, Reprinted with permission.