# Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints

^{1}

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## Abstract

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## 1. Introduction

## 2. A Historical Perspective

#### 2.1. Development

#### 2.2. Sustainable Development

## 3. Weak and Strong Sustainability: Definitions and Lessons

#### 3.1. Weak Sustainability

#### 3.1.1. The discounted utility criterion or the dictatorship of the present

^{–1}, and that of the third generation is given (1+a)

^{–2}, etc., where a is the discounting rate. The latter measures the preference for the present. In practice, it indicates the equivalence between a unit of satisfaction for the present generation and 1+a units of satisfaction for the second generation, or (1+a)

^{2}units of satisfaction for the third generation, etc. If the discounting rate a is null, there is no difference between the satisfaction of today and that of tomorrow. But if the discounting rate a is strictly positive, there is a preference for the present, which becomes stronger as the parameter rises. However, as mentioned above, whatever the strictly positive value of the latter, the future is always overwhelmed at proportions that grow as it becomes more distant. Under a linear utility function, if the discounting rate is 10%, then renouncing €1 of consumption of a resource is only justified if this allows the consumption of €120 in 50 years’ time and €14,000 in 100 years’ time. Under a 5% rate, renouncing €1 of consumption today is only justified if this allows the consumption of €130 in 100 years’ time and €17,000 in 200 years’ time (Guesnerie [13]).

#### 3.1.2. The Green Golden Rule or the dictatorship of the future

#### 3.1.3. The maximin criterion, Hartwick’s rule or the dictatorship of the most underprivileged generation

#### 3.1.4. The problem of taking account of intergenerational equity

#### 3.1.5. Chichilinisky’s criterion

#### 3.1.6. The mixed Bentham-Rawls criterion and Rawls’ principle of just saving

#### 3.2. The Limits of Weak Sustainability

#### 3.2.1. The search for invariants

#### 3.2.2. The viability theory

#### 3.3. Strong Sustainability

#### 3.3.1. Critical natural capitals

#### 3.3.2. Indicators of sustainable development

## 4. Conclusions

## Acknowledgements

## References and Notes

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**MDPI and ACS Style**

Figuières, C.; Guyomard, H.; Rotillon, G.
Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints. *Sustainability* **2010**, *2*, 3608-3622.
https://doi.org/10.3390/su2113608

**AMA Style**

Figuières C, Guyomard H, Rotillon G.
Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints. *Sustainability*. 2010; 2(11):3608-3622.
https://doi.org/10.3390/su2113608

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Figuières, Charles, Hervé Guyomard, and Gilles Rotillon.
2010. "Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints" *Sustainability* 2, no. 11: 3608-3622.
https://doi.org/10.3390/su2113608