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Sovereign Debt at the CrossroadsChallenges and Proposals for Resolving the Third World Debt Crisis$
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Chris Jochnick and Fraser A. Preston

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195168003.001.0001

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Ecological Debt—The Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren

Ecological Debt—The Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren

Sovereign Debt at the Crossroads

Andrew Simms

Oxford University Press

This chapter broadens the analysis of sovereign debt by incorporating ecological concerns. Centuries of consumption of the natural resources of the developing world by the developed world, resources that in many cases were acquired illegally or by force, have produced what is describes as an ecological debt of the rich countries to the poor countries. The imbalance in resource consumption helps explain the dramatic divergence in income levels between rich nations and poor nations that has occurred since the early 20th century. It is argued that there is a sustainable equilibrium in the use of the world's natural resources — clean air, fresh water, timber, and petroleum. The wealthy nations of the world have upset that equilibrium at the expense of the poor — taking more than their share of the goods while inflicting the costs of resource depletion and pollution on the poor.

Keywords:   sovereign debt, resource consumption, ecological concerns, pollution, imbalance, rich nations, poor nations, natural resources

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