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The Political Economy of Sustainable Development

Policy Instruments and Market Mechanisms Timothy Cadman, Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law, Griffith University, Australia, Lauren Eastwood, State University of New York at Plattsburgh, US, Federico Lopez-Casero Michaelis, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan, Tek Narayan Maraseni, University of Southern Queensland, Australia, Jamie Pittock, Australian National University, Australia and Tapan Sarker, Griffith Business School and Griffith Asia Institute, Australia
Since the Rio ‘Earth’ Summit of 1992, sustainable development has become the major policy response to tackling global environmental degradation, from climate change to loss of biodiversity and deforestation. Market instruments such as emissions trading, payments for ecosystem services and timber certification have become the main mechanisms for financing the sustainable management of the earth’s natural resources. Yet how effective are they – and do they help the planet and developing countries, or merely uphold the economic status quo? This book investigates these important questions.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $125.00 Web: $112.50
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78347 483 7
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Since the Rio ‘Earth’ Summit of 1992, sustainable development has become the major policy response to tackling global environmental degradation, from climate change to loss of biodiversity and deforestation. Market instruments such as emissions trading, payments for ecosystem services and timber certification have become the main mechanisms for financing the sustainable management of the earth’s natural resources. Yet how effective are they – and do they help the planet and developing countries, or merely uphold the economic status quo? This book investigates these important questions.

Providing a comprehensive analysis and the latest research on sustainable development, the authors compare the divergent approaches to emissions trading. Included is a detailed investigation into illegal logging and the effectiveness of policy responses, with an evaluation of different forest certification schemes. Biodiversity offsets and environmental payments are also explored. Integral to the book are interviews and opinions of the key stakeholders in the political economy of sustainable development.

This uniquely comprehensive analysis of the governance quality of different sustainable development mechanisms, unprecedented in its panorama of comparative case studies, is essential reading for all those in the policy, academic and non-governmental communities.
‘The Political Economy of Sustainable Development: Policy Instruments and Market Mechanisms provides sweeping coverage of three crucial issues and an original approach to studying them. It is a complex and ambitious effort by a diverse team of researchers, providing many insights into what's been tried and what might be tried to address climate change, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. With this coverage, the book or sections of it, could be useful for teaching applications or for policy making, and certainly will be so for policy research.’
– J. Timmons Roberts, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis

‘Cadman and his co-authors have collected and employed data collected from over 100 surveys and 35 in-depth interviews of sustainable development experts, to bring another dimension to their comprehensive analysis of instruments employed to promote sustainable development.’
– Transnational Environmental Law

‘This excellent volume provides an empirically robust, critically informed but also eminently readable interrogation of the politics and practice of sustainable development. Through a global governance and political economy lens it traverses the public and the private, and the local and the global and offers some carefully thought-through hope for a better way forward.’
– Lorraine Elliott, Australian National University, Australia
and the Academic Council on the UN System

‘Inaction on climate change and sustainable development is not an option. But we also do not have the luxury of time and resources for wasted efforts and ineffective actions. This book cuts through the political wrangling and the policy morass to identify interventions that can make a real difference. It is a refreshing, deep dive into the relative merits of key policy instruments and market mechanisms for tackling our most intractable sustainability challenges. If you want to make informed – rather than conformed – decisions on sustainable development policy, this is the book for you. The UN Sustainable Development Goals may give us the Why and the What for creating a better future. This book gives us the How.’
– Wayne Visser, author of Sustainable Frontiers and Director of Kaleidoscope Futures

‘An in-depth and critical interrogation of the politics of sustainable development and how policies in pursuit of this often elusive ideal are formulated, implemented and financed. Timothy Cadman and colleagues have provided an incisive tour de force that pays particular attention to private sector environmental governance as an institutional form that exists beyond governments.’
– David Humphreys, The Open University, UK

‘Overall, this is a well-written book by Timothy Cadman and his colleagues which contributes to scholarship on global environmental management with specific reference to the linkage between environmental protection and economic development. The authors deployed a scientific research methodology to determine the utility and effectiveness of different market-based policy instruments which were derived from multilateral agreements and conventions to manage the resources of the planet for environmental protection and sustainable development.'
– Political Studies Review
Contents: Introduction: The Political Economy of Sustainable Development 1. Protection of the Atmosphere – CDM and REDD+ 2. Combating Deforestation I – FSC and PEFC 3. Combating Deforestation II – FLEGT 4. Conservation of Biological Diversity – PES and BOM 5. Comparative Analysis Conclusion Recommendations Index