Sustainability and Green Business in Latin America During Globalization Waves
33 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 7, 2018
This working paper examines the impact of modern business enterprise on the natural environment of Latin America during the globalization waves between the nineteenth century and the present day. It argues that although global capitalism created much wealth for the region, this was at the cost of massive ecological destruction in Latin America. During the first global economy considerable wealth was created from the exploitation of natural resources for the land-owning elite in Latin America, at the cost of large-scale ecological destruction. During the Great Reversal in the mid-twentieth century, public policies aimed at “catching up” resulted in the co-proliferation of hydro-electric schemes and resulting co-creation of ecological damage by firms and governments. In the new global economy since 1980, renewed economic growth and consumerism resulted in mountains of waste in increasingly polluted mega-cities. Biodiversity and the natural environment have been challenged across the subcontinent. However there were interesting positives as these ecological horrors also created opportunities for a surprising cohort of green businesses across sectors ranging from beauty and health to eco-tourism. In the twenty first century both business and governments in the region needed to address sustainability issues far more seriously, before a point of no return was reached.
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