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Table 2 The instrumental principles of sustainability

From: Sustainability assessment of energy technologies: towards an integrative framework

Instrumental rule Explanation
Internalisation of external social and environmental costs Prices have to reflect the external environmental and social costs arising through the economic process.
Adequate discounting Neither future nor present generations should be discriminated through discounting.
Debt In order to avoid restricting the state's future freedom of action, its current consumption expenditures have to be financed, as a matter of principle, by current income.
Fair international economic relations International economic relations have to be so organised that fair participation in the economic process is possible for economic actors of all nations.
Encouragement of international cooperation The various actors (government, private enterprises, non-governmental organisations) have to work together in the spirit of global partnership with the aim of establishing the prerequisites for the initiation and realisation of sustainable development.
Society's ability to respond Society's ability to react to problems in the natural and human sphere has to be improved by means of the appropriate institutional innovations.
Society's reflexivity Institutional arrangements have to be developed, which make a reflection of options of societal action possible, which extend beyond the limits of particular problem areas and individual aspects of problems.
Self-management Society's ability to lead itself in the direction of futurable development has to be improved.
Self-organisation The potentials of societal actors for self-organisation have to be increased.
Balance of power Processes of opinion formation, negotiation and decision making have to be organised in a manner which distributes fairly the opportunities of the various actors to express their opinions and to take influence, and makes the procedures employed to this purpose transparent.