Sustainable Development: Paradigm for the Future

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-3-107-113
S. Bobylev (,
Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow 119991, Russian Federation 


Abstract. Over the past 30–40 years, the concept of sustainable development has gained in complexity and comprehensiveness, a theoretical approach has been developed, sustainability goals and quantitative indicators have been proposed. The article identifies three stages of this evolution. At the present stage, the concept has become a complex socio-ecological and economic phenomenon, both in theory and in its practical interpretations. Its recognition by the United Nations and all the countries involved as a background for humanity allows to speak about the sustainable development as a kind of consensus official global development paradigm in the 21st century. It is acknowledged that the formation of a “green” economy is the basis of transition to sustainability. The article analyzes three fundamental problems, the solution of which is essential for the development of humanity, the global economy and national economies, both in theory and in practice: well-being and sustainable development; quantitative interpretation, indicators of sustainable development; transformation of the energy sector as a key to sustainable development. The ambiguity of the Kuznets curve interpretation is demonstrated. The growth of the developed countries’ welfare and the improvement of ecological situation in the countries themselves can lead to an increase in global environmental impact (in particular, the growth of their “carbon footprint” shows this). Currently, a variety of indicator systems, composite indices, adjusted traditional indicators to measure sustainable development are used. The article analyzes the United Nations’ goals of sustainable development (2015), adopted for the 2016–2030 period. The Adjusted Net Savings Index developed by the World Bank experts is promising (especially for countries with large natural capital). Crucial for the transition to sustainable development, “green” and low-carbon economy is the solution of energy problems. Global trends show an increase in the share of renewable energy and the competitiveness of renewable energy sources. 

Keywords: sustainable development, the components of sustainable development, “green” economy, the environmental Kuznets curve, sustainable development goals, sustainable development indicators, low-carbon economy, climate change 


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For citation:
Bobylev S. Sustainable Development: Paradigm for the Future. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 107-113.

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