Poverty, Globalisation and Sustainability

AIM: The viability of green strategies and ethical purchases to conserve and manage resources to create a more equitable world (such as buying locally or fair trading).

Developing an awareness that countries and individual consumers can have impacts on global poverty brought about by globalisation.

POVERTY FROM GLOBALISATION

What is globalisation?

Globalisation is the process by which people, their cultures, money, goods and information can be transferred between countries with few or no barriers.

How do countries and individuals have impact on global poverty?

Countries and individuals in ‘rich’ countries like the UK, America, Germany etc have access to a range of goods from all over the season anytime of the year. But what they don’t realize is that much of these imports are increasing global poverty levels. For example, farmers in Africa in drought season do not have the financial power to grow food for themselves instead end up only growing cash crops making the poverty they live in worse.

GREEN STRATEGIES AND ETHICAL PURCHASING

Why implement them?

Our globalized world is having environmental and social problems for example importing can lead to increase productivity and carbon footprint. So we need to take actions to ensure we can have the benefits of globalisation and yet evade social and environmental problems.

Strategy

Cost 

Benefit

Fair trade – The World Trade Centre supports free trade in which the original producers e.g. farmers get the smallest share of the final price so fair trade provides them with a bigger proportion.

How can we ensure this – especially with TNCs disapproving. Prices will go up and competition will slow down.

There will be less poverty among people in the developing world who are being exploited e.g. in the Coco trade.

Ethical Shopping- In ethical trading we seek to buy products which are organic, Fair Trade, locally produced. M&S is a great example they only sell Fair Trade tea or coffee, naturally died clothes, and buy from small overseas businesses.

Organic – more space need to grow crops hence this can destroy more forests

Locally produced – reduce market share that developing countries has and producing food in Africa is less energy intensive than the UK

Organic – it can reduce the poverty felt by farmers

Local Produce – We can cut food miles and reduce our emissions and support local farmers that suffer due to cheap imports.

Carbon offsetting and trading – This can either be certified through schemes that were created in the Kyoto Protocol or voluntary e.g. Cold Play planted 10,000 mango trees in Karnataka

If it is not done multilaterally then it can flee of investment being economically damaging and voluntary acts tend to one-off so we need a constant way of reducing emissions

Can significantly drop emission – the carbon scheme is a tries and tested method which failed but with a few alterations is worth another try.

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle – London has enough rubbish to fill the Canary Wharf every 10 days – its time we cut the crap! 

Incineration and landfill releases greenhouse gases and recycling takes up more energy. Reducing and Reusing is the way forward.

Composting produces humus that improves soil. We have seen large scale re-using in places like Dharvi in Mumbai which have worked so we could try it out on a more sophisticated level perhaps one off clothes from charity shops could become fashion!

REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. Define globalisation
  2. Define ecological footprint
  3. How can countries and individuals lead to global poverty?
  4. What are the disadvantages of using locally produced goods?
  5. What are the benefits of reducing, recycling and re-using?

SUGGESTED ANSWERS 

  1. Globalisation is the process by which people, their cultures, money, goods and information can be transferred between countries with few or no barriers.
  2. Ecological footprint – this is the measure of the amount of land and water that a population needs in order to produce the resources that it consumes and to absorb to its waste, with existing technology. The UK would need 3.1 Earth’s worth of resources to meet its ecological footprint.
  3. We enjoy consuming goods and services from around the world at cheap prices. Our demand for cheap goods forces many into poverty e.g. farmers in Africa have to produce cash cops like millet at extremely low prices gaining no benefit from it.
  4. It can reduce market share for developing nations and variety we have to goods and services will be more narrower.
  5. There are many e.g. composting produces humus which improves soil and we have seen large scale re-using in places like Dharvi (Mumbai) which have actually worked.
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