Can we have Full Employment and Decent Work for all without Trashing the Planet?

(A shorter version of this appeared in the Huffington Post, as part of their Development Unplugged series initiatied by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation.)

The United Nation’s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a sweeping set of goals that all member countries have resolved to meet by 2030.

Goal 8 recognizes the importance of labour rights, access to decent work for all while also emphasizing sustained—and sustainable—economic growth. Some see this focus on economic growth as a bridge between the two main themes of the SDGs: highlighting the need for resources from a growing economy to provide for basic needs, but in a sustainable way. Others see it as a chasm: certain that sustained economic growth is not environmentally sustainable, particularly through a capitalist system where private profit from resource exploitation and ever-increasing private consumption takes precedence over preservation of the planet.

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