Just transitions: Explorations of sustainability in an unfair world

Author(s): Swilling, M. & Annecke, E.
Link to CST author(s): Prof. Mark Swilling
Publication: Cape Town: UCT
Year: 2012
Full reference: Swilling, M. & Annecke, E. 2012. Just transitions: Explorations of sustainability in an unfair world. Cape Town: UCT.


Current economic growth strategies around the world are rapidly depleting the natural resources and eco-system services that we depend on. Just Transitions gives a comprehensive overview of these global challenges from a global South perspective. How do developing countries eradicate poverty via economic development, while at the same time encountering the consequences of global warming and dwindling levels of cheap oil, productive soils, metals, clean water supplies and forest products? How do they address widening inequalities in income as well as the need to rebuild eco-system services and natural resources?

This book considers the theme of a just transition, which reconciles the sustainable use of natural resources with a pervasive commitment to sufficiency (where over-consumers are satisfied with less so that under-consumers can secure enough). It explores the perplexing logics of a range of different literatures and synthesises them to illuminate new ways of thinking from a sustainability perspective. It rethinks development with special reference to the greening of the developmental state, explores the key role that cities could play in the transition to a more sustainably urbanized world, and highlights the neglect of soils in the global discussions around the potential of sustainable agriculture to feed the world. Case studies drawn from the African continent detail the challenges, but they are set in the context of global trends. The authors conclude with their experience of building a community that aspires to live sustainably.