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Environmental Studies

HS 302
Pritee Sharma
December29, 2016
• Environment: why worry about

• Societal Self Extinction-Mayan Civilization

• Functions of Environment

• Challenges: Climate Change and

Access to Water

• How will societies respond: PFL and

How Environment Emerged in
Economic Policy Making
• Classical economists

• Neoclassical economists

• Keynesians

• 1970s onwards environment emerged as an

important concern questioning govt. policies,
markets and technology
Environmental History:
Euro-Atlantic Development Model
• Why was Europe able to leap ahead of the rest of the

• China until around 1750, i.e. Yangtze Delta, and

England were constrained by scarcity of land to grow
food, supply fuel and provide materials.

• Europe (England) gained access to biotic resources-

tobacco, sugar cotton and grains from its colonies.

• exploit ‘subterranean forest’

The Development Dilemma

• development of internal combustion engine or electric motor

• Europe’s development path is special case and cannot be repeated

everywhere and anytime

• The world is under “tragic dilemma”

• Despite political and economic freedom decolonization in “imagination”

has not happened.
China’s Case beyond 1990s
• China achieved remarkable economic growth along with decline in poverty from
33 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2006.

• Yet in absolute terms China is now world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter ahead
of USA and second largest importer of oil.

• Industrial affluence and global equity cannot be attained at the same time. So
countries can opt either for affluence with oligarchy or sufficiency with view of
Unequal Appropriation of global
• Goods are distributed through international trade: 25 % of world population
appropriates 75% of world’s resources.

• More than half of bauxite, Two-thirds of world nickel, and half of world’s fossil
fuels are consumed by triad of USA, Europe and Japan.

• This constellation is the root cause of geopolitical conflicts.

Changing Economic Geography of world- Supply
Side (Production)
• For past 20 years newly industrializing economies are occupying favorable
positions as energy suppliers (Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia), exporters of
hardware and software (Thailand, China and India), exporters of agricultural
goods (Brazil and Argentina).

• But the rise of China or India remains far from encompassing the entire country.
Shanghai and Shenzen in China or Mumbai and Bangalore in India are rather
locations for cross-border capital formation.
Rise of transnational consumer class

• China and India alone account for 20 percent of global consumer class even though with
considerably low average income. The consumer class represents 19 % of China’s
Population, 33% of Brazil’s population, 43% in Russia, and 89% of Western Europe. You can
figure out the growth potential in these countries.
• Three types of resource-intensive consumer goods : meat consumption, electrical
equipment and motor vehicles (exploiting energy, materials and land area).
Environmentalism and Economic Liberalization

• 1972 Stockholm Conference on Human • 1945 Bretton Woods (United Nations Monetary and
Environment UNCHE Financial Conference (US- Reagan and UK Thatcher
governments) set up IBRD, GATT and IMF
• 1980 World Conservation Strategy of IUCN
(International Union for the Conservation of • 1947 General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs
Nature) GATT…1990s (Dunkel’s draft to Parallel Regional
Trade Agreements- NAFTA, ASEAN, SAARC etc.)
• 1983 Brundtland Commission WCED (World
Commission on Environment and Development) • 1995 World Trade Organization (WTO)

• 1987 Publication of “Our Common Future” • Conflicts on role of the World Bank in developing
countries- growth and environmental degradation-
• 1992 Earth Summit at Rio-de-Janiero (2nd UN Brundtland Commission- Sustainable Development.
Conference on Env. And Development) UNCED

• 2002 Rio+10 at Johannesburg South Africa (3rd UN

conference on Env. And Development)

• 2012 Rio+20 at Rio-de-Janiero, Brazil

• 2015 COP21 Paris Summit