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Conceptual Framework for Tearfund's approach to Environmental and Economic Sustainability

  • Global Centre for Climate Mobility


Nick Simpson presentation at Focus Fortnight 2019. Environmental degradation is increasing at an alarming rate, and it is the poorest people in our world who are being most affected by it – those who have done the least to cause it. Harmful patterns of consumption and waste, driven by business, are fuelling the crisis, putting pressure on the world’s natural resources. In 2015 Tearfund published The restorative economy setting out our vision for a sustainable global economy in which extreme poverty is ended, the balance in creation is restored and inequality between rich and poor is reduced. To implement this vision in our programmatic and advocacy work, Environmental and Economic Sustainability (EES) was adopted as one of three corporate priorities. Tearfund recognises that climate change, the environment and people’s livelihoods are closely connected. We have seen how environmental degradation, conflict and climate-related shocks increase food insecurity and hunger, and threaten progress with development. Our response is to promote environmental and economic sustainability (EES). EES is about working towards a world where extreme inequality is reduced and where everyone can meet their basic needs – and flourish – within their environmental limit. EES has a wide range of elements. Some relate more to the environment, while others relate more to economic well-being (see figure 1 below). However, they are all closely intertwined and can affect each other positively or negatively. Poverty reduction must hold the environment and the economy in balance, recognising that a broken and harmful environment will have a negative impact on people’s health, livelihoods and productivity.
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