Safeguarding the earth system as a priority for sustainable development and global ethics: the need for an earth system SDG

Journal of Global Ethics 11 (1):32-36 (2015)
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While the list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations’ Open Working Group comprises a catalog of highly important post-2015 development priorities, one of the key issue that has not received the attention it deserves is the need to safeguard the Earth's life-support system. Over the course of the past decades, we have concentrated much more on socioeconomic development rather than on environmental sustainability while putting a number of the Earth's systems at risk, and with it poverty eradication and sustainable development. There is thus a need to put the spotlight on global environmental change and to take account of the insights from the latest Earth system science and its implications for the future of global development and global ethics. The ongoing debate on the post-2015 SDGs offers an important occasion for this endeavor. Going beyond the current proposal of the Open Working Group and building on the planetary boundaries or guard rails framework, the SDGs..



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