Sustainable Development

Science and Politics (Sage Publications), edited by Brent S. Steel, 2014

Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 13-24

14 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2013 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015

See all articles by John C. Dernbach

John C. Dernbach

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: December 17, 2012


Sustainable development is a framework for furthering development (particularly economic and social development) and environmental protection or restoration at the same time. It is a response to the problems of furthering development without sufficient attention to the environmental consequences. Sustainable development has historical roots in the environmental and conservation laws of the U.S. and other developed countries, which have limited air and water pollution as well as the destruction of wildlife, soils, forests and other natural resources, even as their economies and the wellbeing of their citizens have grown. Many of these laws were enacted before the term sustainable development was even employed. Nations of the world first agreed to work together for sustainable development at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Still, progress toward sustainability has been slow, in part because of continued adherence to the traditional development model. In addition, the existence and severity of environmental problems (such as climate change) has been contested, especially in the United States.

Keywords: sustainable development, sustainability, sustainable, environment, conservation, Rio, climate change

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K32, Q01, Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

Suggested Citation

Dernbach, John C., Sustainable Development (December 17, 2012). Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 13-24. Available at SSRN: or

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics