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Sustainability Transition with Sustainable Peace: Key Messages and Scientific Outlook

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Oswald Spring, U., Brauch, H. G., & Scheffran, J. (2016). Sustainability Transition with Sustainable Peace: Key Messages and Scientific Outlook. In H. G. Brauch, U. Oswald Spring, J. Grin, & J. Scheffran (Eds.), Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace (pp. 887-927). Cham: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-43884-9_42.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-E465-7
This chapter presents the key messages of this Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace found in the previous texts by the sixty authors, arranged into ten parts. They focus on I) moving towards sustainability transition; II) aiming for sustainable peace; III) meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century: demographic imbalances, temperature rise and the climate–conflict nexus; IV) initiating research on global environmental change, the limits to growth, and the decoupling of growth and resource needs; V) developing theoretical approaches to sustainability and transitions; VI) analysing national debates about sustainability in North America; VII) preparing transitions towards a sustainable economy and society, production and consumption and urbanization; VIII) examining sustainability transitions in the water, food and health sectors from Latin American and European perspectives; IX) preparing sustainability transitions in the energy sector; and X) relying on international, regional and national governance for strategies and policies leading towards sustainability transition. This chapter proposes moving from disciplinary perspectives towards a transdisciplinary and anticipatory transformative approach. It points to research deficits and maps future research needs on ‘sustainability transition’, on ‘sustainable peace’, and on the linkages between both discourses, so that we can move from knowledge to action, and towards governance strategies, policies and measures aiming at Sustainability Transition with Sustainable Peace. Four examples are used to briefly illustrate this transformative scientific approach towards proactive policies. The first examines the sustainable energy transition achievable by moving from fossil fuels to enhancing energy efficiency and to renewables; this would grant access to energy for up to twelve billion people by 2100, while GHG emissions would be reduced. The second proposes a shift from resource- and carbon-intensive agriculture and a high degree of waste in the food sector to climate-smart agriculture with less waste. The third and fourth examples address proposed changes to different lifestyles in industrialized countries, and a shift in values as suggested, for example, by the Kingdom of Bhutan (Gross Happiness Index) and by indigenous people in Bolivia (Pachamama) and Chiapas. These alternatives may not be globally acceptable but they indicate that new viable pathways are needed that will lead towards a sustainable and peaceful world, and enable us to move beyond a continuation of the unsustainable Western way of life based on abundance and waste in consumption and production.