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Explain why international agreements are essential if anything effective is to be done about global warming.

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Introduction

Examine sustainable approaches to urban living in megacities you have studied (15) The term 'Sustainable Development' was first introduced as part of the Brundtland Report in 1987. It was defined as; "Development that meets the needs of society today without compromising future generations to meet their own needs". This was later discussed at the UN Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992, where two other 'agendas' were constructed in order to improve sustainability worldwide. The first was Agenda 21, which encouraged locally based projects and the second was The Brown Agenda which stated that the solution to improving developing cities was to focus on different aspects of the environment. This included, providing clean water and shelter as well as managing air pollution, noise and safety standards. In 2000, the UN developed goals to be achieved by the year 2020; this mainly consisted of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers. Furthermore, in trying to make megacities more sustainable, the term 'ecological footprint' has emerged. This is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems. It compares human demand with Earth's ecological ability to regenerate it and it is important for individuals to work towards reducing their ecological footprint in order to improve sustainability in large, urbanised megacities. ...read more.

Middle

PLAN's proposals for a sustainable city involve using alternative fuels to carbon dioxide and methane as well as addressing the city's water source. These two significant contributions towards the sustainability of LA will ensure that it becomes a much safer and healthier place to be a resident of. Dongtan is a new eco-city being developed in the east of China, on the country's third largest island. It is not a megacity; however it has the potential to mature once it has been built up. Dongtan can be described as an ecopolis meaning that it is an entire city dedicated to reducing the required inputs, of energy, water and food in addition to its waste output of heat, carbon dioxide, methane and water pollution, making it exceedingly sustainable. Dongtan aims to produce its own energy from wind, solar, bio-fuel and recycled city waste, for example solar-powered taxis and fuel-cell-driven buses. Hydro-electric power will also be a main form of energy, generated by the numerous canals and lakes that will run through the city. Arup, the company designing Dongtan, want to create a high-quality environment that gives a higher standard of living to the local people and to future generations. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mumbai, Los Angeles, Dongtan and Rio de Janeiro are four extremely diverse places. Yet, they all want to achieve sustainability within the next few years. There are many contrasts between LA for example, an established megacity and world city that is trying to become cleaner and greener compared with Dongtan, which is not a city yet but is being built sustainably from scratch. There are some similarities between Mumbai and Rio. Both cities are trying to become more sustainable by clearing out slum-dwellers and have NGO's trying to assist with the struggle. With all the stress over the impact that humans are having on the planet and what conditions will be like in the future, it is necessary to start practising more sustainable and eco-friendly ways of living. Sustainable Development is all about meeting our needs without compromising the needs of future generations, meaning that if humans continue to live their lives as if dozens of Earth's are supporting us then they will be jeopardising their grandchildren's and great-grandchildren's survival. We need to be more efficient with the energy we use and the energy that we waste, in order to ensure a safe and stable environment for the future. ...read more.

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