Globalization and Scarcity | Multilateralism for a world with limits

Globalization has improved the living standards of hundreds of millions of people – but growing resource scarcity means it risks becoming a victim of its own success. Left unaddressed, scarcity of food, energy, water, land and other key ‘natural assets’ has the potential to trigger intensifying zero sum competition between states – in the process, increasing poverty, state fragility, economic instability, inflation, and strategic resource competition between major powers. Multilateral cooperation is needed not only to contain worst case scenarios, such as the risk of inter-state conflicts over resources, but also the risk of a generalized shift towards zero sum competition. Governments and international organizations will also need to work collectively to build shared awareness of scarcity issues among non-state actors, and shared platforms that can help to construct political coalitions to push for the international action needed.

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Nov 01, 2010
Alex Evans