Just transitions: Explorations of sustainability in an unfair world


Mark Swilling
University of Stellenbosch
Eve Annecke
Sustainability Institute


Current economic growth strategies around the world are rapidly depleting natural resources and eco-systems. Just Transitions provides an overview of these challenges from a Global South perspective. How do developing countries eradicate poverty via economic development, while encountering the consequences of global warming and dwindling supplies of clean water, productive soils, cheap oil, minerals and other resources? How do they address widening inequalities, as well as the need to rebuild ecosystem services and natural resources?

This book considers 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 synthesises a range of different literatures 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 urbanised world, highlights the neglect of soils and examines the potential of sustainable agriculture to feed the world. Case studies drawn from Africa 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.


  • Just transitions
    Explorations of sustainability in an unfair world


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Cover image showing a quiver tree, a threatened species of aloe indigenous to South Africa


11 April 2022


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