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Sustainable development has been the rallying cry in the environmental realm since 1992, when 100 presidents and prime ministers endorsed it at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. Nearly 10 years later, sustainable development has largely failed as an organizing principle. The lack of progress in confronting climate change, biodiversity loss, and other pressing global environmental challenges is glaring, as is the lack of improvement in the developing world's air and water quality. As tempting as it may be to put the blame solely on a lack of international will, the seeds of sustainable development's failure were in fact sown at its inception.
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