Regenerative Development: The Hope-Based Future
Current Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 8,
11 November 2022
This chapter frames the emerging historical shift in environmental policy from sustainable development to regenerative development. It suggests that this is a more hopeful vision of the future but needs to be chosen at all levels. The chapter begins by looking at the important though despairing environmental policy developed by Paul and Anne Ehrlich in the 1970’s called IPAT – the interacting roles of population, affluence and technology. The approach was designed to prevent Exploitive Development and played an important role in establishing the environmental profession and environmental regulation and assessment. This was followed by the era of Sustainable Development from the 1990’s where environmental impacts were sought to be reduced in more structural change as part of economic and social development. The third phase is called Regenerative Development and is emerging in the 2020’s as an approach that goes beyond reducing impact to enabling development that repairs the environment as well as regenerating social and economic outcomes. The chapter shows how it is possible to grow again in the three IPAT factors if we move to regenerative development rather than the lessening of impact from sustainable development. If population growth and economic growth are multipliers of significantly reduced or regenerative growth then these factors are helping not harming the planet. The technological possibilities of a regenerative future are outlined and some case studies outlined, providing evidence of hope for the future.
- Environmental impact
- sustainable development
- regenerative development