Ecological Modernisation as an approach for solving of Environmental problems



This study looks into the concept of ecological modernisation started to gain attention in the 1990s. This concept evolved in the industrialised democratic states as a dominant way of addressing environmental policies. It was also aimed at identifying the root causes of these environmental problems and to suggest possible policies or solutions. These environmental problems include global pollution, global warming, Ozone depletion, soil erosion, overpopulation, natural resources’ exploitation, destruction and fragmentation of natural habitats, water crisis, loss of biodiversities etc. These environmental problems are creating adverse effects on health and well-being of human beings. Ecological modernisation has been developed in order to fight against these environmental problems at large. It was also developed to ensure sustainability of natural resources and natural well-being, maintaining environmental justice and preserving the rights and beauty of the nature. The concept of sustainability or sustainable development considers that the present generation must consume goods and services in such a way that the consumption of these goods and services by the future generation is not hampered. The notion of sustainable development has been used to preserve and conserve natural and environmental resources, mainly non-renewable resources like coal, petroleum etc. Sustainable use of these resources by the present generation can help future generations to acquire benefits from these resources. According to Brundtland Commission, it means ‘meeting the needs of the present without bargaining the capability of future generations to meet their needs (Berger et al., 2001, p.57). The concept of environmental justice deals with the preservation of the nature and natural resources. This paper is aimed at critically assess the importance of ecological modernisation as an appropriate approach for solving environmental problems. Brief history of the concept of ecological modernisation: Since a long time, a conflicting relationship exists between economic development and environmental sustainability. There are conflicting opinions regarding the relationship between economic growth and environmental policies as well. Those people in favour of rapid economic growth and development argue that the policies aimed to act in favour of the environmental protections are creating obstacles against the economic growth of industrialised nations of the world. They have argued that environmental policies like reducing environmental pollution create larger problems for producers to produce goods and services at lowest possible costs and hence, hamper the process of economic development of countries by reducing their national output and national income (Berger et al., 2001, p.56). But the opposite side argues that without proper environmental protection it will be difficult for these industrialised countries to achieve their desired pace of economic growth. They also argue that in the presence of sustained ecological society the pace of economic growth gets accelerated. The need for environmental awareness started at the end of the 1980s and at the beginning of the 1990s, mainly in the industrialised nations of the world. In this time the concept of environmental protection and environmental awareness was seen differently from previous periods. Before this time environmental problems were largely seen as natural phenomena which were beyond the control of human beings. But in this time people started to believe that those environmental problems are largely dependent upon human activities. People also realised that controlled and protected human activities can easily reduce the prevalence of those environmental problems. The main reason for the conceptualized difference was the emergence of a new concept called