Gus Speth

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Gus Speth

Template:TOCnestleft Prof. James Gustave Speth, USA – Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Founder of the World Resources Institute, Former Administrator of UNDP. He is a full member of the Club of Rome.[1]


Gus Speth is a Professor of Law at the Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vermont and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos in New York City.

He was Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy at Yale where he served as Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies from 1999 to 2009.

From 1993 to 1999, Dean Speth was Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality; and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council.[2]


Throughout his career, Dean Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment.

Among his awards are the National Wildlife Federation’s Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America’s Barbara Swain Award of Honor, a 1997 Special Recognition Award from the Society for International Development, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Environmental Law Institute and the League of Conservation Voters, and the Blue Planet Prize.

He holds honorary degrees from Clark University, the College of the Atlantic, the Vermont Law School, Middlebury College, and the University of South Carolina. [3]


Publications include The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability (2008),Global Environmental Governance (2006), Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment.[4]

Committee for National Security

According to the Institute for policy Studies, the co-founder and senior fellow of Committee for National Security, Richard Barnet "played a major role in organizing" the Committee "to mobilize broad support for détente to counter the voices calling for a return to confrontation and intervention." Other CNS leaders included Paul Warnke, an IPS trustee and SALT II negotiator for the Carter Administration; and former CIA Director William Colby.

The ZilI report noted Warnke was working with American Committee on East-West Accord on a task force to implement the Kennan proposals on nuclear weapons cuts. CNS has a Global Task Force with Dick Ullman and Gus Speth on population and development issues; and has received funding from the Cos Cob Foundation "for work on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty [and]... a speakers' bureau to stress that this treaty is a part of the Nuclear Freeze Campaign."

Zill reported that Nancy Ramsey, former legislative director for Women's International League for Peace & Freedom and then coordinator of Americans for SALT before joining CNS, had resigned now that "CNS is off to a good start," has considerable media attention, and is raising a sustaining budget of $300,000 a year.[5]

Global 2000 Report

Gus Speth, was head of the Carter Administration's Council on Environmental Quality, crafter of the doom laden Global 2000 Report, and a member of the Clinton-Gore transition team, before heading the UN Development Program.

"Worlds Apart"


"Worlds Apart:Globalization And The Environment" Island Press, 18/04/2003, presents a cohesive set of essays by leading thinkers on the subject of globalization, offering a thoughtful overview of the major environmental issues related to globalization in a clear, reasoned style. Framed by Gus Speth’s introduction and conclusion, essays range from Jane Lubchenco’s discussion of the scientific indicators of global environmental change to Robert Kates’ examination of the prospect that our growing global interconnectedness could lead a transition to a more sustainable world to Vandana Shiva’s impassioned plea for a new “living democracy” that counters the degrading, dehumanizing tendencies of the global economy. Other contributors include Maurice Strong on the Rio Earth Summit and the future course of environmentalism, Jose Goldemberg on energy, Jerry Mander on the inherent destructiveness of the global economic system, Stephan Schmidheiny on the forestry industry, and Daniel Esty and Maria Ivanova on global environmental governance.

Edited by one of the world’s leading experts on international environmental issues, the book brings together the most respected thinkers and actors on the world stage to offer a compelling set of perspectives and a solid introduction to the social and environmental dimensions of globalization.