Sustainable Economic Development

At the heart of the regional partner’s work is the ambition to achieve sustainable economic development.

Sustainable Development is about living and working within our means, so that the planet we live on can sustain our lives and the lives of future generations. Our economic development is beginning to put unsustainable stress on our natural resources – which covers environmental systems such as water, land and air, as well as those which are non-renewable within our lifetime, such as fossil fuels and metal ores.

The Northwest needs to adapt if our economy is to grow in a sustainable way. The region’s businesses need to adapt to new ways of working to both respond to unavoidable climate change as well as to reduce future affects. The regional partner’s role is to support these businesses to become more sustainable and in doing so making sure that the Northwest secures its future economically as well as environmentally.

We have a number of sustainable development principles that we need work within in order to achieve this. Achieving a truly sustainable economy will help us to live within our environmental limits and create a strong, healthy and just society through promoting good governance; and using sound science responsibly.

To achieve a sustainable economy, we need to:

  • Develop sustainable consumption and production processes to live and work by, and reward those who use resources efficiently
  • Respect the limits of the planet – its environment, resources and biodiversity – and improve our environment quality and make sure that the natural resources needed for life are available to future generations
  • Focus on both adaptation and mitigation of climate change, making sure we respond to global warming as well as doing what we can to slow it down and stop any future affects
  • Invest in energy and environmental technologies and promote their usage
  • Meet the diverse needs of all people in existing and future communities, promote personal well-being, social cohesion and inclusion, and create equal opportunities for all

To promote good governance, we need to develop strong strategies and policies and promote them in all levels of society and to champion corporate responsibility to all levels of business.

To use sound science responsibly, we need to ensure policy is developed and implemented on the basis of a strong scientific evidence base. We need to take in to account scientific uncertainty as well as public attitudes and values.

The work of the regional partners was therefore undertaken within four work-stream topics, recognising the overlaps and interactions between them:

  • Sustainable Consumption and Production
  • ClimateChange
  • Energy and Environmental Technologies Sector Development
  • Environmental Quality