The Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies generated a poll to observe the understanding of the public concerning the connection between sustainable development and a stable, democratic system of governance. Of the 833 poll respondents, 46% endorsed the essential link between democracy and development, and 20% respondents did not agree that their efficacy is directly correlated. On the other hand, as many as 34% of the respondents opted for “Don’t know”, suggesting that they could not decide whether there was any relevance between a stable democracy and sustainable development.
Sustainable Development, as a concept, originates from and is rooted in the 20th century environmental concerns.It can be defined as a process to meet human development goals without depletion of natural resources, thus, catering to needs of the future generations.As the concept has evolved, its focus has shifted to emphasize social development, economic growth, as well as environmental protection.In this context, Scandinavian countries are the epitome of development sustainability, and Sweden leadsthem as the ‘most sustainable’ country in the world, known for its renewable energy resources, low carbon emissionsand environmental policies.Interestingly, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are all constitutional monarchies. On the other hand, Germany isanother nation aspiring for sustainable development, while also being one of the largest/strongest economies both within Europe and outside it. It isa federal parliamentary republic,and currently in the process oftransitioning its energy production from conventional to renewable resources. Over the next five years, it plans to shift upto 40% of its electricity demands onto clean energy.
As the poll responses suggest, sustainable development is a vital necessity for the modern world to ensure its own survival. In order to conserve energy and prevent the depletion of natural resources, global partnerships for technological breakthroughs can play an incredibly important role. In order for such partnerships to exist, a commonality of values and goals becomes of primordial importance, perhaps even more so than a democratic system. Stability however, is another prerequisite for actual growth in the sector. Therefore it may be argued that only a stable government dedicated to the goals of sustainable development can be effective in this regard, highlighting their correlation. The type of government – democratic or otherwise – is of secondary importance.