Humanity has reached an impasse. Despite ongoing development efforts since the foundation of the United Nations, the international community has failed to end global poverty or prevent environmental degradation. The policies that drive the global economy have also magnified the gap between rich and poor, led to conflict over the planet’s natural resources, and resulted in an ecological crisis that threatens life on earth. The following pages outline the extent of this global emergency and the need for an alternative approach to managing the world’s resources based upon economic sharing and international cooperation.
Our failure to share resources internationally has led to the creation of a global economic system that is inherently unjust, highly unequal and environmentally unsustainable. In light of the major crises we face, a new economic paradigm based on sharing rather than competing for the world’s resources presents a pragmatic way forward for the international community.
World leaders may suggest that a great deal is being done already to prevent extreme deprivation, but this is far from the reality. Unless governments address the structural causes of inequality, overseas aid and other forms of financial redistribution will never be an adequate means for ending poverty or reducing the gap between rich and poor.
Climate change and environmental pollution is only one aspect of a much wider ecological crisis that has resulted from our over-exploitation and degradation of Planet Earth. Creating a sustainable and just world will remain impossible to achieve unless we place economic sharing and environmental stewardship at the forefront of policymaking and global governance.
As nations struggle to secure the world’s untapped natural resources, humanity is faced with an unavoidable choice: either to find ways of equitably sharing and preserving the environmental commons, or to continue on the path of intensified resource competition and risk further economic trauma, the acceleration of climate change, and the eventual possibility of a third world war.