Sustainable Development: Can New Technology and Economic Growth Be the Answer?

Edward Brenya, Edwin W. Warden


Since the aftermath of the World Commission on Environment and Development, policymakers and researchers have become concerned about finding lasting solutions to the challenges of sustainable development. Rapid economic growth and new technology have been identified as vital solutions to the attainment of sustainable development. Using the review of secondary literature, this paper analyses the prospects of economic growth and technology in achieving sustainable development. The paper finds that, there is some possibility of poverty alleviation with rapid economic growth that may support the attainment of sustainable development. But as endless as it may seem, economic growth can also put more pressure on available limited resources and pose challenges to humans and the environment.  By adopting the Ehrlich and Pringle, (2008) IPAT heuristic equation approach, the paper reveals that though the development of new technology can be effective, an increasing rate of population and affluent lifestyle can hinder the possibility of achieving sustainable development. Besides, technology has its own limits and a rebound effects is possible if technology is overstretched. Therefore, the  paper proposes that for sustainable development to be achieved, economic growth and new technology should be coupled with a well-structured balance between population  and  consumption  in  a  holistic  interconnection  between  economy,  environment  and society.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Economic Growth, New Technology.

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