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Why is the issue of sustainability important for development?

Why is the issue of sustainability important for development?

Sustainable development refers to all actions that allow economic and social development in the human activities of present generations without compromising the future.

From an energy point of view, it is crucial to find clean energy sources to protect the planet from climate change. Today, most of the energy to meet the basic needs of the planet's inhabitants is obtained from fossil fuels that generate greenhouse gases.

Sustainable development definition

Sustainable development is a form of development in which the current need is met without compromising the needs of future generations. It can be achieved through:

  • Using natural resources efficiently.

  • Use of clean energy such as solar energy or wind power.

  • Protecting the environment in the long term.

It also requires promoting a better quality of life for all, including access to education, health, food, clean water, and opportunities to earn a fair income.

Why is the issue of sustainability important for development?

The issue of sustainability is vital because it is essential for meeting the needs of current and future generations. It requires that we use resources in a way that does not jeopardize their availability for future generations and that we protect and enhance the natural systems that support life on Earth.


Furthermore, it is crucial because it helps ensure that future generations meet their needs. It also helps protect the natural systems we depend on for survival. This concept considers both environmental and social factors in decision-making in order to create a balance between meeting human needs and protecting the planet.

The pillars of sustainable development

The concept of sustainable development is an approach to economic growth and social progress that aims to protect and improve the living conditions of present and future generations. It is based on three fundamental pillars: economic, environmental, and social justice.

1. Economic

The first pillar of sustainable development is economic development. It is about growing in an intelligent and balanced way, generating wealth and reducing poverty. To achieve this, a prosperous and dynamic economy is needed that offers equal opportunities for all.

2. Environmental

The second pillar is the environment: We have to take care of our planet and guarantee urban development while preserving natural resources in a responsible way so as not to compromise the future of our children.

3. Social justice

Finally, the third pillar is social justice. Social development must be more equitable and inclusive, where all human beings have access to basic resources, such as education, health and employment.

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda is a global action plan approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. It is based on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that cover a wide range of important issues, from stoping poverty and hunger to ensuring education and employment, protect the environment and promote sustainable economic growth. The general objective is to achieve a fairer, more equitable and inclusive common future for all.

The SDGs are ambitious but achievable goals that require international commitment and the collaboration of all the countries of the world. These objectives are key to achieving sustainable development. They address vital issues such as eliminating the poverty, increasing clean energy production, and the protection of human rights.

World Commission on Environment and Development: our common future

The World Commission on Environment and Development was formed in 1983 to address the growing concerns about the state of the world’s environment and its potential impact on human development. The Commission, also known as the Brundtland Commission after its Chair, Gro Harlem Brundtland, published its seminal report, “Our Common Future” in 1987. 

The report defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The report called for a fundamental shift in the way we think about economic growth and development, arguing that traditional measures of progress – such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – need to be supplemented by steps that take into account environmental and social factors.

The report also warned of the dangers of climate change and called for urgent action to address this global problem.

Publication Date: March 13, 2023
Last Revision: March 13, 2023