Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and the University of Sheffield in the UK, have called for a redefinition of sustainability stating, “it should be defined as being able to live harmoniously with nature in a shared planet with other species, without exploiting it.”

They say that this redefinition is essential if society wants to mitigate climate change and for civilizations to prosper in future.

Writing in a Perspectives article published in One Earth, a new environmental and sustainability journal, the authors describe the development of human civilization and how it has contributed to the “existential crisis” which the world is facing now from climate change.

They argue that all the effort that goes into sustainability is based on a fatal flaw – that humankind has the right to exploit everything on Earth for its benefit and that sustainability will be delivered somehow if nature and the exploitation of resources are controlled better.

Professor Benjamin Horton, Chair of the Asian School of the Environment at NTU Singapore, together with his father, Professor Peter Horton FRS from Sheffield, write that the solution to this flaw begins with recognition that our species is just one of the millions of species that share the planet, and to begin to act according to this principle.

Professor Benjamin Horton said, “In this paper, my father and I illustrate why the world is so gravely unprepared for effects of climate crisis and we have suggested a path forward, where governments, companies and individuals can each make a difference culminating in a collective effort that is sufficient enough to mitigate effects of climate change.

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