Also, at the centre of most forward-looking analyses or studies on global development is sustainable development. It is almost axiomatic to say that the ongoing financial and economic crises have been aggravated by negative environmental trends, of which climate change has the most critical consequences.
Yet, despite the fact that the concept of sustainable development with its economic, environmental and social pillars was first articulated by the Brundtland Commission as early as 1987, its operationalization as a development paradigm has proven difficult.
Indeed, resource efficiency will play an increasingly important role in the context of global stability, security and development. Inefficient technologies and operating practices currently in use by many industries in developing countries will need to be replaced. In addition, energy access is one of the most pressing of all the global challenges and is central to all the three pillars of sustainable development. Also, as the impacts of climate change become clearer, it is increasingly evident that a growing share of humanity will become vulnerable to its effects, which renews the urgency to move towards “green” industry in developing and industrialized countries alike, and towards a more inclusive development strategy based on a low-carbon trajectory.
In the light of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 (Rio +20), at which Member States agreed to a process to draw up a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs), the opportunity to do so has now arisen. In the Conference outcome document, The Future we Want, Member States recognized that the SDGs need to be coordinated and coherent with related processes to set the post-2015 development agenda.