There is a number of challenges and obstacles to achieve sustainable development goals. Select one of the SDGs that you see as most pressing and identify the obstacles that may prevent from achieving it. Explain these obstacles challenges demonstrating your understanding of how they connect to sustainability on global scale.
The implementation of Sustainable Consumption & Productions (SCP) helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty. In the light of the SDG you selected, and among the 4 policy instruments we discussed in class, what are the top two policy instruments you would use to overcome the obstacles of your selected goal? (select only two policy instruments)
(Sustainable Development in Cities, USP 514 Class Discussion)
Affordable and Clean Energy
For my sustainable goal I am doing affordable and clean energy. Even though this is a good goal for the environment because if we can use affordable and clean energy it will not cause climate change to happen to the environment. The reason why climate change is happening because of burning fossil fuel and using coal for energy right now. I think one of the obstacles that is preventing this to happen is because of big businesses and big companies. I think big companies and businesses are one of the main prevention of allowing affordable and clean energy to pass. I think they are because they don’t care about the environment all they want to do is make money and one way these companies and businesses make a lot of money is because of burning fossil fuels and using coal for energy which is bad for the environment and causing climate change. Another obstacle that is preventing this goal from happening is money. Even though renewable energy is easy to get but building the materials that helps you collect clean energy will be expensive. For example we can use solar energy to produce energy globally because solar energy comes from the sun and the sun usually is out most of the time. The material that we need to collect solar energy will be solar panels. Solar Panels absorb energy from the sun and if we built solar panels around our buildings we can get all the energy we need when the sun is out and if the sun is not out all the energy that solar panel collected will be able to help produce energy for buildings around the world which is cheap and doesn’t cause environmental problems. Another example of material that we can use to collect energy will be wind mills. Wind Energy is affordable as well and making windmills is cheap too. However, one of the main problems of wind mills is that it can kill a lot of birds whenever they fly by, because of that it is hard to built because your still hurting the environment by killing living organisms. One more way of getting affordable and clean energy will be hydro-energy. However, hydro energy comes from water dams and by building water dams to collect energy will kill a lot of salmon or sea creatures. The main obstacles that is getting in the way for getting affordable and clean energy is expensive, The Congress doesn’t accept it and also it can cause problems to living creatures.
The top two policy instruments that I will use to overcome these obstacles is regulatory instruments and economic instruments. I think regulatory instrument will be a good policy to prevent the obstacle for clean and affordable energy to happen because big companies and businesses make a lot of money by using coal and fossil fuel for energy which is bad for the environment. However, with this policy we can ban all oil and coal and divest from fossil fuels to switch to clean and affordable energy. So it can stop the obstacle from happening and make the world more sustainable Economic instrument will be another good policy to prevent the obstacle from happening as well. It will because if we tax people or companies that use coal or fossil fuels for energy they will use less and it can save the environment. As for now burning fossil fuels and using coal is cheaper for energy. The government, companies, and business has so much money and instead of using the money to make more coal, oil and fossil fuel they can spend their money and use it for renewable energy like solar, hydro, and wind energy instead of burning fossil fuels and coal. If they can do that our world will have a better environment and more renewable energies that can stop climate change form happening.
Clean water and sanitation is the sustainable development goal that I chose. I believe that there are not as many physical challenges to accomplishing this, rather political challenges that face this goal. Clean water is something that should be accessible to everyone on this planet. The technology and innovation is abundant and that isn’t the issue. The majority of the countries that lack a clean source of water typically does not have a stable political system. With a weak government, it is very difficult to achieve a country-wide scale water sanitation system. Countries with a weak government typically have a dwindling economy, and with a lack of funds from the government and poverty stricken areas, there are little options for these countries to achieve water sustainability. The lack of a sanitation policy or system leaves these countries to get drinking water from large bodies of unfiltered rivers, streams, lakes, and wells.
The two top policy instruments that I would use to overcome these obstacles is regulatory instruments, and economic instruments. There needs to be a clean water act for all countries around the globe. A clean water act could be written and enforced by the United Nations with funding from developed nations, to help build the infrastructure of water sanitation for these developing countries in need. The funding for such a large scale project would be an economic instrument of a tax on developed countries that are part of the UN.
One of the most pressing issues of our time is climate change. Taking climate action is a sustainable development goal that countries around the world should be paying more attention to, especially the United States. There is scientific data proving that human activity is one of the leading causes to climate change. However we continue to have gridlock in our political system on weather or not we should be taking action on this pressing environmental issue. Many obstacles exist in achieving global climate action. If we want to minimize the consequences we need to act as soon as we can. Climate change is real and is caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels and is a major threat to our future. Sea level rise, higher temperatures, and threats to human health, are just a few issues that will arise from this environmental issue. With all this scientific evidence, why have we not taken action? One of the major challenges in taking climate action, at least in the U.S., is due to the amount of money involved in politics. Instead of tackling this issue, lobbyists for oil and coal companies halt any attempt for progress on climate action. These major companies give money to elected officials in return for loyalty. These individuals are putting their profits and greed ahead of the future of our planet. On a global scale, countries around the world are well aware that climate change is alive and well. Over 150 countries signed the Paris Agreement which dealt with greenhouse gases emissions and goals of how much and by when will emissions decrease. The obstacle in achieving these goals is that there is no enforcement of this agreement. Countries pledged to make a difference in emissions over the course of a certain amount of years, but they are not being held accountable if they do not meet these goals. Also, for us to action global climate action and sustainability on a global scale, certain countries will need to start taking the blame for the amount of emissions that they have been emitting, and take a step in the right direction. We cannot achieve global climate action unless we all work together to achieve a sustainable future. A regulatory policy instrument needs to be enacted in order to achieve climate action. The United States needs to regulate the amount of carbon that is being emitted so that they can reach the goals set in the Paris agreement and possibly surpass them. Another would be an economic instrument in order to put a tax on the amount of carbon that is being emitted. This allows for fossil fuel companies to pay for climate change and motivate them to switch to cleaner energy. Once they switch to cleaner energy, there would be no need for companies to invest in politicians because they would have transitioned to clean energy and not fossil fuels. Taking money out of politics.
Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
The one sustainable development goal that I see most pressing in the 2030 agenda is industry, innovation, and infrastructure. The economy is growing at a rapid pace and there are many challenges we must solve in order to achieve a sustainable future. These three key components promote the built environment, economic growth, and technological advancements. The goal is to achieve sustainable development because it affects everyone on a global scale. The two policy instruments I am going to use are the implementation of sustainable consumption and production, and strengthen economic competitiveness.
The industrial revolution was a great advancement in manufacturing and production. The industry business prospered as it gave millions of people jobs and economic stability. The obstacles that it faced were that eventually these industries grew to full scale industries. The demand grew and production and consumption created more factories. New technological advancements helped out businesses prosper and people started to come up with solutions on how to cut their production in half by using machines, but this came with a consequence because people were being replaced with robots. Another obstacle was that these industries created pollution. Implementing sustainable consumption and production where the services create a better quality of life without sending toxic chemicals into the atmosphere is how sustainable development can be achieved.
Sustainable infrastructure is critical in providing a building or structure to operate for society. The second policy tool I’m using is strengthening economic competitiveness in industry, innovation, and infrastructure. One way to overcome this obstacle is to see what policies, and factors are productive in other countries. By having a competitive society it will create new innovation and lead to sustainable job growth. The framework on new strategies will create a better economic development and better sustainable goals on the global scale.
The sustainable development goal I will be sharing my thoughts on will be climate action. Obstacles, which may rise while taking action on this controversial issue, consist of many factors. To start off, can we justify enough funding to get proper awareness out of issues such as warming climate and ozone depletion. Can we from a technological perspective create means of combating climate action? Last, can we educate people on the severity of how much catastrophic affect climate change can have on our lives? These questions illustrate the overall obstacles we face which; prevent us from successfully defeating climate change. Now, in terms of awareness of climate change much progress has been made. The main problem with getting the awareness across is changing people’s habits in a society, which has trained them to consume more than they need, and waste more than they need. I personally think a good small start to which this could be fixed is to force cities to add more recycling bins around street corners and shops. In terms of technological perspective of taking climate action I think the advancement of clean air vehicles are an ideal alternative however; the batteries in these cars are just as bad for the climate after their life cycle is finished as emission vehicles. More efforts in areas such as hydrogen based cars should be funded which; would still perhaps have batteries but a lot less then current electric cars. Lastly, education on the matter is one of the biggest issues facing climate action in my opinion. With leaders such as Donald Trump supporting the idea that climate change is a myth it really worries me about where the future of climate change is going. Religious ideals and fundamentals also hinder the thought of climate change as a real thing for people who are heavily influenced by there beliefs. A family member of mine, who fits into this ideology, makes me experience this first hand and question how narrow-minded religion can make some people. The bottom-line of combating this to me is to establish concrete scientific and physical data which; suggest that climate action must be taken or we as a species are doomed. The top two policy instruments discussed in class I would use to overcome these issues are the information-based instruments and behavioral instruments. I feel like if these two instruments are properly integrated, as a general requirement in our society awareness would become subconscious in peoples head. Perhaps integrating this into our school system as a general education tool could work well too.
The goal I chose was clean water and sanitation. Of the seventeen, I feel that this is one of the most important goals to focus on. Everyone should have access to clean water, it is a resource that we really on everyday for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. Water is such an abundant source on this planet, and we all have access to some source of it but it may not always be in a condition that is usable for the population. The first obstacle is having a system that treats the water. This can be on the more expensive side. A common theme throughout the the world is that low income or third world countries tend to have no water sanitation plants which results in water that is not clean. So another obstacle would be a poorly funded country or region. There is an enormous amount of water on the planet and the technology is available to treat water, it is just having the money to do so. A weak economy usually reflects a country with a poor government system which results in low funding forcing the population to use contaminated water.
For the two policy instruments I would use, it would be economic instruments and regulatory instruments. The reason economic would be selected is because these countries need be funded to establish clean water and sanitation projects such as building a plant to filter and provide people with usable water. Largest and more established countries or organizations such as the UN can work with these the third world countries to establish and build up their economy. For the regulatory instrument, a policy could be set up globally to establish some sort of law the would require a water standard for countries to follow. With these two policies applied, clean water and sanitation could be provided worldwide.
There are quite a few obstacles that can occur when trying to achieve goal number fourteen, life below water. The general goal of life below water encompasses many smaller goals. The issue with these goals is that the oceans are a public property. What one country does on one side of the globe affects the oceans on another side of the globe. Greenhouse gasses emitted by one country affects the acidity of the oceans regardless of what country they are close to or “belong” to. This means that it is difficult to hold entities accountable for the health and protection of the oceans. Also, the vastness of the oceans makes it difficult to track and account for all harm that is being done to them. In addition to this, regardless of the importance of the oceans, caring for them is not always a priority for many countries. Especially for developing countries that for example are more concerned with feeding and caring for their people. Another obstacle that this goal faces is eliminating illegal and unaccounted for activities. It is difficult for authorities to know when and where illegal fishing or dumping of pollutants has occurred. Because of this, the oceans health may continue to be threatened due to individuals continued detrimental actions toward the oceans, regardless of the sustainable development goal that has been put in place.
The two policy instruments I would use to overcome the obstacles of my selected goal are regulatory instruments and economic instruments. For regulatory instruments I would implement a ban on all pollutants that negatively affect the oceans and all of its inhabitants. I would also put an emission limit on all carbon emissions, in order to stop the acidification of the oceans. In addition to this, I would implement a stricter limit on how much fish and other marine products can be taken out of the sea. I’m not sure if this could ever happen because of its controversial nature and ties with certain culture’s traditions, but I would permanently ban all hunting of marine mammals, especially whales. For the economic instruments I would immediately place a cap on all carbon emissions. The cap would gradually decrease as would the trade allowances in order to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas in the air. I would also try to put an end to commercial fisheries, and instead help small scale and more localized fisheries grow their businesses. Although the oceans face an immense amount of problems and are affected by so many different human activities all over the world, their health is vital to the health of the planet. Without a functioning ocean ecosystem, the entire planet is at risk. I think that economic and regulatory policy would be effective at helping achieve this sustainable development goal.
The global sustainability obstacles relating to climate action is pollution and industrial waste. We need to rally together as a global community to fight Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and send corporations an alarming message that the Earth is more important than their profitability. I quickly googled the amount of plastic waste in our oceans, and this was quite astonishing. The amount of plastic within our waters is warming our oceans. Birds are eating bottle caps, other plastic items, and ocean wildlife are hurting from the amount of pollution placed in our oceans. Not only ocean wildlife suffer from the pollution, but so does our water quality. Overtime, if we continue ignoring environmental factors and not properly dispose of trash, the growing issue will continue to get worse. We are a global community, and sometimes we overlook our responsibility as people to help conserve resources to save the planet, but if we throw away less waste, dispose things in the right way, and use less plastic materials this should reduce the amount of waste in our oceans. The global problem within our oceans is not sustainable as huge ocean masses of garbage and plastic waste are hurting ocean ecosystems and also ocean wildlife.
The SCP helps to address the worldwide issue of waste, but little is being done about conservation of resources and the reduction of pollution in our waters. As a result, we should have more regulatory instruments and information-based instruments that put pollution and human-made waste and either reuses the materials or discard of it properly. Regulatory instruments should help with limiting the amount of waste created while only reusing the waste we already have. This method should have an influence on consumers and at the same time enact climate action by providing an incentive for sustainability goals. Secondly, information-based instruments should help with overcoming pollution by spreading awareness of the pollution issue. The more society is educated on an issue, mitigating and preventing more pollution is a possibility that should occur. The increasing trend for global waste is really making our only planet uninhabitable and something should be enacted to organize to reduce and reuse pollution.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Sustainable economic growth and decent work for everyone are hard to maintain for society. It is difficult to find ways to generate a larger cash flow without compensating other factors that society relies on. A city can not just randomly create more jobs for the public out of thin air. Money needs to be invested in order to pay for the labor of the employees. However, cities usually face the struggle of not having efficient funds to fund all projects it plans to implement. This is because the amount of consumption outnumbers the amount generated. The population of consumers continues to rise which causes more competition for work. As long as the economic deficit grows, then sustainable economic growth and decent jobs for everyone will be a hard goal to achieve.
The population of a city does not necessarily need to shrink in order to balance the economy. Moreover it needs to be controlled. Regulatory instruments should be used to help maintain a balance in the population. Sexual education classes should be introduced at a more earlier time in a human’s life. Birth control options should be more available and more advertised to the public. There needs to be not just laws to regulate the population, but to also regulate the fiscal spending in our government. Money needs to be allocated more towards city development in order to build more jobs for residents. Economic instruments can also be used to help generate more money for the city. Increase tax rates may generate more capital to further invest into much larger projects. The more money invested the faster the economy can grow and thus creating more decent jobs available for the public. Increasing the minimum wage may also prove to be helpful to the economy. This could help elevate poor jobs into decent work.
One of the pressing issue that I pick that’s it’s going to be hard to achieve for everyone in the near future is the good health and well being for individuals living the U.S. For starters, the obesity rate is higher than ever in this in country. It’s dramatically increasing each decade even though people are being heavily educated about the issue, they simply don’t really care and future generations are following an example of an unhealthy lifestyle. One of the problems that I see with obesity is based on where people are living. The obesity problem is high on urban cities that don’t promote or give people the opportunity to be active. There are cities that don’t have many parks or locations were people can’t do exercise, or they are cities that are heavily car driven and lack the accessibility for people who simply want to walk or use a bicycle in the city for their health. If they aren’t locations in a city were people can’t jog or do sports, then people will not be motivated to change their healthy lifestyle no matter how doctors or educators force people to be active in improving their well being. Although there could be gym’s available in those cities, people still have to pay a lot of money just to workout indoors and eventually it’s going to get boring and dull being indoors with no fresh air, and people who are being force or to be active will stop eventually. There’s needs to be more development plans in suburbs and urban cities that promotes and motivates people to go outside and do exercise rather than just force knowledge in people’s throats about being active for their health.
Two of the policy instruments that we discussed in class that I picked that can helped with the obstacles of improving people’s health and well being is the economic and behavioral instruments. For the economic instruments of the S.C.P wants to make it a priority to improve the quality of life and well being for everyone healthcare needs to be affordable. Providing free healthcare it’s the ideal goal if they really want an increase the numbers of people improving their well being, but it’s unrealistic to do it at the moment. Now with Donald Trump as president and one of his first priority as a president is to get rid off Obama care it’s not happening in the near future, but we can all hope or believe in miracles that his administration or another administration after trump can make health care affordable mainly to minority’s who have the high percentage of health problems. Starting with a affordable healthcare will be the main support for people especially for minorities who needed the most for their health well being. Behavioral instrument is based on the influence human behavior towards people making more sustainable choices. It starts with creating a plan in cities that influence and motivates people in being more active. SF is a perfect example of influence people lifestyle in being more active based on how their city is being built. The piers makes people accessibility to run, or walk while they have beautiful scenery. The fact that the city has many landmarks makes people motivated to jog and see those places. Cities without scenery and beautiful landmarks will not influence people to go outside. There are so many parks around each neighborhood were people can stay active and most importantly it’s safe enough for people to go for a jog. It’s the one biggest reason why minorities are struggling in going out and stay active because they don’t feel safe to go outside of their neighborhoods. It’s nice to educate people about being healthy and improving their lifestyles, but action speaks louder than words, so improving the city for a better quality of life it creates an impact in their healthy lives.
The Sustainability Goal that I chose to study is #14 – Life Below Water. Maintaining healthy, biodiverse and abundant life below water is absolutely essential for human existence on this planet. According to the UN about 300 billion people depend on the marine ecosystem for their livelihood and over 200 million people are in some way employed by marine fishing industry. The UN also states “Subsidies for fishing are contributing to the rapid depletion of many fish species and are preventing efforts to save and restore global fisheries and related jobs, causing ocean fisheries to generate US$ 50 billion less per year than they could”. There are several factors that contribute to the declining health of marine life, such as industrial chemical pollution, agricultural fertilizer runoff, plastic debris, raw sewage release, unsustainable fishing practices, global warming, etc.
For the purpose of this project, unsustainable fishing practices will be the focus. There are many obstacles that prevent fisheries from being sustainable. Those include combating the economic motives that lead to overfishing, Informing fisherman about methods of fishing that prevent the unnecessary death of species like dolphins and turtles (or “bicatch”), raising public consciousness about the fact that the quantity and health of marine life is declining, motivating government officials to regulate unsustainable fishing practices, and fighting organized monied interests that are resistant to changing their fishing practices. In essence, the interrelated powers that be are the consumers, the government, and the fishing industry.
– Citizens need to encourage media coverage about our marine health.
– Promote or fund grassroots organizations that raise public awareness about marine health through social media, rallies, seminars, pamphlet distribution in cities, and in person conversations with people from small rural villages around the globe.
– Promote or fund organizations that teach individual local fishermen, medium sized fishing companies, and large industrial fishing operations how to implement technology is more sustainable (if available) that eliminates unwanted animal/fish death (bicatch).
– Distribute consumer guides on how to purchase sustainably raised fish in order to drive market demand in that direction ( seafoodwatch.org is doing a great job at this).
– Increase funding and authority for gov. agencies that can target poachers of endangered species.
– Ban the use of unsustainable fishing methods if a viable alternative is available.
– Set legal limits on the amount of fish that a company can extract from the ocean annually.
– Fund and direct the appropriate gov. agency to research sustainable fishing practices.
– Eliminate gov. subsidies for catching certain fish.
The sustainable development goal that I chose to focus on is the Responsible Consumption and Production goal. I chose this goal because I believe that it is important to improve sustainably in this realm in order to reduce our overall waste. With an increasing global population, more and more people are consuming products that are often packaged in non-compostable packaging. One obstacle for reaching this goal is our own current lifestyle of consumerism. Our obsession with wealth and material stuff has led to an increase in packaging pollution and more solid waste. Moreover, another obstacle for reaching this goal are the current materials such as various plastic packaging. All plastics are not compostable, so therefore many of the products we consume and throw away do not get reused in the natural system. By this, we cannot live a sustainable future if we continue to package our products with non-compostable material. Out of the four policy instruments we covered in class, I would argue that the two policy instruments I would use to overcome the obstacles of my goal are the behavioral instrument and the regulatory instrument.
I would use the behavioral instrument as it uses non-regulatory means to influence human behavior towards more sustainable choices. This will aim to understand fundamental drivers for consumption behavior and use the understanding to encourage average consumers to change their consumption behaviors, which can also create a stronger market demand for sustainable and innovative solutions to our poor packaging system. In my opinion, I believe this is the best option out of the two instruments because it is more direct to the individual and allows the individual to absorb messages that has the potential to change their day to day lifestyle. In our current lifestyle of consumerism, smart packaging is necessary if we are to avoid the increasing amount of waste. Smart packaging will reduce overall energy from production to the waste processes. Reducing oversized packaging makes it easier to individually haul around items and easier for municipalities to use less energy. One factor I know that can influence behavior is to expose what plastic products and packaging are doing to the environment and show that there are alternatives. I believe the future of smart packaging is with Cannabis Hemp because its durable fiber can produce strong and reliable, reusable, and compostable packaging that does no damage to the natural environment.
I would also use the regulatory instrument policy, which can include product and substance bans on packaging that is not compostable, and production process standards that include only using materials that are compostable. In the United States, the federal government can and should implement bans on products and substances that harm the human body, and both the natural and built environments. Also, production laws to ensure that the process of packaging is sustainable and that the packaging material is compostable that does not interfere with the natural system. If the federal government fails to uphold its duty to protect its citizens and environment from harm, then it should be up to the states to implement and enforce their own regulatory laws on commercial product facilities within their borders to abide to such laws in order to protect their residents and environment from harm. Just recently in this 2016 election, voters in the state of California voted to ban the sale of single-use plastic and paper bags in grocery stores. This is one huge step to achieving the sustainable development goal of Responsible Consumption and Production.
Zero Hunger is the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal that I chose to explore. Ending “Hunger”, or food insecurity, is a difficult task on multiple levels – politically and technically, but it can be done. With an increasingly warming planet, our growing human population, and political trade imbalances, solving this problem will involve some creative solutions. A third of all food is wasted worldwide, whether it be from wasteful consumers in affluent countries, or producers struggling to get their goods to market in poorer countries, solving this waste problem could act to significantly reduce world hunger. So let’s say that affluent countries stop wasting forty percent of their food, and impoverished countries develop the infrastructure and storage necessary to help preserve and transport their food, global trade imbalance and wealth inequality still makes food inaccessible to the poor. Global trade imbalances are dictated by the more powerful and wealthy global north countries via embargos, subsidies, regulations and tariffs, to ensure that Affluent nations have a constant supply of exotic foods and a forced market for theirs. But while these trade imbalances “help” affluent nations, they hurt poorer ones which no longer have a market for their local goods due to imported ones being so much cheaper due to subsidies, and regulations imposed by affluent nations set prices too low for their exotic goods (ie. chocolate and coffee etc.) for local people to get out of poverty. This global trade imbalance perpetuates the cycle of impoverishing poor countries while making affluent countries richer, and for this to be ended involves ending wealth inequality and trade imbalances. While this will be a politically difficult feat, if these inequalities can be addressed, the problems of supply and demand are still left in other regards. Our growing population,,, growing demand for animal products, and the changing climate will make it so that our food supply will one day not be able to meet our demand, and technical solutions alone cannot magically solve this. So what can be done to solve this?
The two policy instruments I would suggest are the most important to address these challenges are regulatory and economic instruments. Regulatory measure to address the global trade imbalances, mitigate climate change, and regulate food waste in affluent countries. Economic measures also include addressing global trade imbalances as well as subsidizing infrastructure and storage for impoverished countries, subsidizing birth control, subsidizing clean energy to mitigate climate change, subsidizing animal alternatives which are less resource. intensive, subsidizing local small farms, and other possible social technological solutions to address hunger. Access to credit for small farmers may be helpful, but could perpetuate the cycle of poverty further through debt. Measures taken to encourage local and vertical agriculture will help produce more food, and regulating food waste in affluent countries and developing infrastructure in poor ones will help mitigate food waste and increase the supply. Addressing climate change, which makes farming harder, will help mitigate yield loss. Slowing or reversing population growth and people’s desire for animal products will help mitigate the demand for food. Addressing trade inequalities will help ensure that impoverished people are fed. According to FAO, “If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry people in the world could be reduced by 150 million”. Overall, the UN estimates that it would take $30 billion a year to solve world hunger, but when compared to the $737 Billion the US spent on “defense” in 2012, these seems slightly more attainable.
Sustainability Through the 3 I’s: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
As stated in the United Nations Global Sustainability Report, in order to achieve a new industrial policy, it would require them to “…downgrade or abandon the concept of price competitiveness, which emphasises low costs (or low unit labour costs). Instead, competitiveness should be defined as the “ability to achieve beyond-GDP goals,” (UN GSR 138). Employing the market to develop new ideas can only go so far in addressing Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). Markets are efficient in reducing costs, yet have a blind spot to certain externalities, such as environmental degradation and quality of life concerns. One idea proposed by the authors of the Global Sustainability Report, was to find an “industrial symbiosis” wherein “…mutually beneficial relationships between two or more industrial firms, e.g. where the waste from one is a resource for another – provides an example of tools that can put decoupling into practice,” (UN GSR 138). There is a potential economic incentive in place, if the otherwise waste products could be steered toward reuse by an SCP #2 Economic Instruments. A state agency can play mediator, subsidizing the cost of repurposing waste material, in order to facilitate the transfer of said material to another company. Some of these waste materials may be more valuable than others, such as copper byproduct leftover from a factory assembly line. This gives an even greater incentive by companies to get at resources at a cheaper rate. Another way of fostering growth, according to the authors, is to implement structural changes necessary for economic growth. These would include “…a process of sectoral recomposition of the economy involving the development of new production and technology systems and changes in employment composition,” (UN GSR 89). They point to manufacturing as the fastest way of achieving that growth because of its linkage with innovation promoting organization and technological skills, which in turn, accelerate “sustained innovation” and middle class income. According to the authors, this applies to both developing and developed nations. Research and development mostly takes place in the manufacturing industry. In turn, this investment propels the rest of the economy.
An example of SCP #1 Regulatory instruments, the authors highlight, is the interest toward “…clean energy and environmental impact mitigation technologies among traditional innovation-leaders, such as Japan and the USA, but also among rising innovators, particularly China,” (UN GSR 90). When world governments instate environmental policies, businesses soon follow, coming up with engineering solutions to meet the quotas. Government policy can also promote infrastructure, which serves as the basis for the rest of the economy to grow off of. If implemented correctly, the infrastructure can be sustainable and cost-saving for future production. A multiplier effect applies, creating a new hub for innovation.
The most pressing sustainable development goal is good health and well being. I chose this SDG because healthcare is the number one debt in this country. A trillion dollars is allocated towards healthcare, but millions are in poverty due to medical expenses. Over 60% bankruptcies are due to medical expenses and over 70% had health insurance. This says that even those with health insurance cannot afford to pay the out of pocket expense of healthcare. Healthcare is required to have good health and well being. Whether you choose to go to a doctor or eat healthy food and exercise, it is necessary. There are many sources that make it challenging to have good health. If you have no access to clean water, healthy foods, medical care or money to attain these things, your life span will be short. Most people want good health to have longevity, energy, physical, mental endurance, avoid disease and accomplish their life goals. There are places globally where people do not have access to clean water, healthy food, medical care, or money to attain these things. Places like Canada have universal healthcare which increase levels of good health in people. Most countries in Africa do not have universal healthcare, and many lack clean water and healthy food. These things are need to live life; poverty, lack of accessibility, and the poor environmental choices are all interrelated to lack of good health. The two policy instruments I would use to address these issues are economic and information-based instruments. If each country charged taxes and fees from the working class, all will be able to attain healthcare. This does not mean that everyone will have good health, but they will have an opportunity to have it. Also subsidies used toward improvement of the environment would definitely assist with the well being of human life span. This will reduce airborne diseases and pollution. Information-based instruments such as eco-labeling can reduce the level of toxins found in foods. GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) affects our health and with proper labeling people would have a better understanding of what they are eating, which can improve health. Same for medicine, if doctors actually discuss all the toxic ingredients in medicine before prescribing it, more patients would inquire about alternatives before choosing the medicine. All these things affect our well being and if you going to choose to live, good health is the best way to enjoy life.
Inequality is the most pressing obstacle that may prevent achieving sustainable development goals. It penetrates every aspect of the globe, from the local communities, to international politics. Before I give different obstacles, I need to identify what inequality means. Inequality is defined by a certain group of people (Group A) have very limited or restricted access to resources due to another group (Group B). The Group B deliberately set up a system, that oppresses Group A and takes advantage of them. Equality wouldn’t mean that Group A and Group B have the same access to resources since Group B was able to develop during the time of oppression. Group B has an obligation to lift Group A out of its shortcoming and repair the damage that has been done to them. To make this less abstract, you can think of Group A as the global south, and Group B as the global north. The global north has been oppressing the south, robbing it of its resources. In the recent climate negotiations, the global south is fighting for a global green politics, yet the global north seems to be unwilling to find an agreement. Rightfully, the global south is demanding aid, because they lack to resources to clean up and make their economy more sustainable. The global north is unwilling to give aid because they believe that they need to help their own country first. Additionally, the global north pushes their green politics and how the globe should adopt to climate change onto the global south. This creates tension between both groups because the global south lacks the resources to keep up with these politics.
The two policy instruments, I would choose to overcome the obstacles as discussed above are, Regulatory and Economic Instruments. Regulatory Instruments help setting standards that will protect labor on a global scale. This will help stop income inequality between countries. If a global minimum wage is introduced, then low-income people would be lifted out of poverty and hunger. In order to help the global south with all these resource constraints that would follow, large corporations are required to invest a portion of their profit into these countries. Additionally, factories will be required to have certain standards, that will protect labor and the environment from harm. Due to the global inequality, corporations and the global north have been getting away with cheap products because they are allowed to oppress and mistreat the global south. Economic Instruments will help to divert some of the money back into the government. Through green taxes, fossil fuel corporations and governments are punished for participating in dirty practices such as burning coal or cutting down forests. These taxes will help finance the economic development of the global south and further invest resources back into the low-income countries.
The challenge I chose for my discussion was quality of education because I think education would be the most essential thing for sustainable development. Human beings would be able to make wiser and rational choices when they attained higher education than other people who have barely been educated. Moreover, perhaps they would gain a perception in terms of preferring to contribute more to the society rather than considering individual benefits first. However, maintenance or arise quality of education was never easy to our society since there had so many influences could draft away our target. In fact, I believe the quality of education actually increase in terms of academic degree because the high competition in our society has urged people to earn higher education in order to exchange higher life standards. Furthermore, the creativity of human beings also has been well exploded under the freedom of academy. People could have quality times and effort to research on different areas, or some people were appreciated to develop or innovate better technology in our society. In other words, people are learning better materials and knowledge today compared than the old educational system. However, the access of the educations is still very challenging to our current generation. Many people could not attain to higher education, or some people could not choose their preferred schools after their high school degree because they have financial difficulty to enroll at college level education. On the other hand, they could not rise up their social class since they have not earned high enough education to allow them achieve higher career. Therefore, no matter how great of the academic level in our educational system was, so many people still could not even reach the door of the education. The challenge was very obvious but hard to resolve. Regarding to our Capitalism society, our improvement of societies was based on the high level of competition, so there got to have losers occurred in our society anyway. At the same time, they don’t have enough power to fight for this kind of social injustice but just have to accept the current situation. Therefore, I think the economic instrument is extremely important in terms of this issue. The high rate of college tuition was the first gate to so many students who have ability to enroll but lack of financial supports, so the government could try to invent more different kind of policies to deal with the economic obstacles for those students. Moreover, behavioral instruments could make effects on education too. The government should make more incentive policies to stimulate people to attain higher education because more talent people means out future could be more sustainable and improved.
Simon Wannehag Hagene
A Peaceful Transition
“Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere,” a wise man named Martin Luther King once told us. Truer words were never spoken, and they represent the foundation of how we build our societies towards a sustainable, just future. Peace and justice is the sixteenth Sustainable Development Goal, although unfortunately, among all the plans it’s been highly overlooked. How can we achieve a greater focus on this particular topic? And why is it important for a sustainable development?
Our world has gone through countless wars, epidemics and natural disasters. They have all led to unimaginable damage to our environments, to development and especially humanity’s as well as animals’ existence. When we form alliances, institutions and international agreements, we have always advanced in a better direction than the one we faced before. They bring us closer together across borders and ocean, towards common goals with greater understanding of each other’s different needs and wants.
Sustainable Consumption & Production, also known as SCP, is a term with it’s goal set to do more and better with less. With it’s center of attention on access to basic services, sustainable infrastructure and other, it pushes our ambitions to an ultimate finish line: a better quality of life. The four main areas are regulatory(1), economic(2), information-based(3)- and behavioral instruments(4). The two most significant in this case are number 2 and 3.
Carbon tax is widely discussed as a way to switch the economy into one of a driving force away from fossil fuels. In many countries they have different models for this, perhaps the most exciting one where you circulate this tax back to the people. It’s a tool that benefits everyone, further encourages behavioral change and instant regulation on pollution. The second is focus on information, the most basic, essential tool in persuading people onboard the sustainable wave. It is of great importance that each person can contribute with their skills and nonetheless be heard in processes that will have profound effects on our lives.
The most crucial impacts on peace and justice(according to SDG) in the world can be improved through focus on fighting inequality, food security and protection of forests. Together, by promoting democratic solutions to local and international urban development, we may finally achieve a peaceful transition to a sustainable planet earth.
The sustainable development goal (SDG) that I selected as the most pressing is (#11) sustainable cities and communities. As explained by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, the goal of sustainable cities and communities are to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. I believe that SDG #11 are important and in need of for both developing and developed countries. A country can grow stronger and be more sustainable with by achieving the goal of sustainable cities and communities. However, some of the major challenges or influences for this goal could be the interest of the government, party system, lack of resources, cultural differences and acceptance. Developing countries are desperate to grow and would not care for sustainable developments until it is too late. Party system of the country could also negatively influence the goal if the government who own most of the power would not agree to work on these goals. For example, there is no voting systems for the Chinese citizens, which means that the public are not given any opportunities for helping their country to be more sustainable. Lack of resources could also be a problem for developing countries because they might lack professionals, capital, and physical resources to achieve the goal. In addition, it would be harder for island countries who are already vulnerable for sea-level rising due to global warming. I selected information-based instruments and behavioral instruments for Sustainable Consumption & Production (SCP). By using the information-based instruments, developing courtiers would be able to learn more able sustainable development and to they would be able to expand their knowledge which leads to opportunities to make their country better. lack of resources. Behavioral policy instruments could be very effective for changing the habit for all that could lead to a more sustainable way of growth. By studying different cultures and to apply demand-side instrument could effectively change behaviors in daily basis.
The most pressing sustainable goal in my opinion is quality education. Quality education is very important in our society because an educated population will set itself up for overall economic growth. Quality education also reduces poverty and hunger, prevents spread of diseases, and promotes critical thinking that will provide us the tools to come up with solutions to any problems that arises. Quality education will also raise awareness world problems such as gender inequality, poverty, environmental issues and etc. An obstacle that prevents us from achieving this sustainable goal is lack of funding for education. Lack of funding for education means less courses are available to students, not enough instructors are hired, and many tools are not provided which impacts the overall performance of the students and leads to overcrowded schools. Quality education will bring out the highest potential in each of the students who will be the future of world.
Among the policy instruments discussed in class, I would choose behavioral and information based instruments. Information-based instruments will help overcome obstacles in quality education because knowing what works and what doesn’t work in our education system is the best way to improve it. When the problems are identified, it is easier to look for solutions and address the issue.
Sustainable Cities & Communities
Out of the 17 Goals presented in the UN Global Sustainable Development Report (2015), I chose goal number 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities. I believe this is the most pressing goal because it addresses systemic issues that exist everywhere such as: public housing, the eradication of poverty, access to basic services, disaster risk reduction, climate change, and good governance. So how do we make cities and communities inclusive,safe, resilient and sustainable?
There are many obstacles that may prevent us from achieving this. The planet has limited natural resources. Collectively, we overuse Earth’s natural resources and systems./ Many of the global sustainability challenges are: climate change, water scarcity, collapse of fisheries, and the larger problem – natural resource overuse. The rate at which we consume resources is much higher than the rate that the planet replenishes them. We use 168% of the Earth’s biosphere and 83% on our collective carbon footprint of the Earth’s biophysical carrying capacity alone. We are consuming more resources than the Earth can provide and are currently running on reserves. We would require 2 Earth’s to replenish the amount of natural resources we use – this is unsustainable! Communication between scientists and policy-makers Science Policy Interface (SPI) is a critical factor in order for the world to change our understanding of natural resource use.
Sustainable Consumption & Productions (SCP) will help us achieve these goals in all sustainability areas – economic, environmental and social – that are part of my goal – essentially, by “doing more and better, with less” we can achieve this goal. How do we encourage this? By using the policy instruments for SCP. The policy instruments for SCP are Regulatory, Economic, Information-Based, and Behavioral. The top 2 out of the 4 policy instruments discussed in class I would use to overcome the obstacles of my selected goal are the economic and behavioral instruments. The economic instrument includes fees, charges, subsidies cap and trade schemes – among others. The use of this type of instruments can influence market conditions for businesses by the supply and/or demand for specific products and services. An example of one would be implementing a global carbon tax on all carbon emissions. In general, people and businesses do not like taxes and this tax would deter people and businesses to use systems of production, transportation, energy, etc. that emit carbon, thus, creating a change in the demand of fossil fuels and a supply in green technologies – such as solar, wind, etc. Technological innovations would be the platform for our change on production processes. The behavioral instrument is a non-regulatory approach that would influence human behavior towards more sustainable choices. By understanding what drives humans to consume a certain way and using that information to encourage change in consumption behaviors we can strive for success. The key is to change consumer demand through a change in consumption patterns, which in turn will affect and create a change in supply markets to produce more sustainable and innovative products. It will also transform production practices across all economic sectors in both, developed and developing countries that will align with consumer preferences. If we focus on demand-side instruments and promote sustainable consumption through incentivisation, we can succeed in this goal. These would remove the obstacles in order to achieve my goal of sustainable cities and communities.
As a woman living in the United States I am weary writing this. With President-Elect Trump and VP-Elect Pence on their way to the highest office in the country, and quite possibly the world, gender equality is one huge step backwards. If our global goal is to achieve gender equality for women, trans and nonbinary people, our biggest obstacle is the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. This world is dominated by men center themselves as the center of their universe and label all “others” as threats to them. Our whole economic system is built upon oppressing women and keeping their wages low so that they are limited in their self determination. Trans and nonbinary people are oppressed by governments that refuse to recognize their humanity and are economically crippled as people have the freedom to not hire them or pay them well.
The idea that men must be hyper-masculinized and in charge of all important affairs by subverting women and anyone outside the gender binary has harmed our earth for many, many centuries. The best policy instruments for ending this system are economic and behavioral. By shifting creating an economy that doesn’t thrive on patriarchal values we can eliminate economic violence and allow for people of any gender to be able to work jobs that pay a livable (or thrive-able) wage, and are not dehumanizing. Behavioral change is essential to how our daily lives are shaped. Right now is a scary time because the moral compass within the United States has broken so much that within the last few days of Trump presumed win of an electoral majority there has been a spike in sexual assault and hate crimes that include verbal/physical assault and murder. It is essential that we shift our behavior to be accommodating to the people that we share this world with and treat people with a basic level of respect. We need to make it the cultural norm to see the humanity in each and every person and respect their right to life. We are so led astray that it’s going to take a lot of work to not just see gender equality be a global reality, but to just get to the point where we’re not scared for being assaulted and murdered. I hope to see the day when the Sustainable Development Goals is achieved but I do not believe it will happen this century if we continue to let the rich white male aristocrats play with the world like it’s game.
Akram Yasin Abdulrahman
12 November 2016
The sustainable development goal that I have decided to focus on is the 16th goal of obtaining ‘’Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’’. As it is quite obvious and many people might be aware, the world today in many places on Earth lack the three components which help form a sustainable and stable environment. Ever since the formation of post-colonial nations and the restoration to shape a world after the major global conflicts including the 2nd World War and the Cold war, some countries have been able to progress while others are still struggling severely. In a report conducted by the ‘’Human Security Report Project’’, the annual number of human beings dying as a result of war has steadily declined but still remain at a high number of roughly 20,000 a year. Since conflicts are constantly occurring and power races are at many times violently fought for, it therefore brings with many complicated obstacles for a sustainability goal such as this one to be accomplished.
First of all, if a society does not maintain peaceful it will inevitably hurt citizens of arguably all scales of society. Whether it is war between two countries, civil war, or violent uprising; conflict will often hurt the sustainability process because it will affect labor and people working, harm the natural and built environment, and above all destroy social harmony within a society. When all of these components are hurt, society gets negatively affected on a sustainability level due to the fact it regresses as opposes to bring the community forward and will leave the future generations with hurdles to overcome. On a global level, a malfunctioning society may result in broken connections between outside entities (for instance countries for trade) which eventually might deprive citizens from their basic needs. Similarly with establishing strong institutions, there is a wide variety of issues and obstacles involved in implementing a goal on a global level. According to the Declaration of Human Rights every individual has the given right for needs such as education, however the present global situation at times does not provide with sustainable choices. To illustrate, in an article issued by Global Citizen ; barriers for education in third world countries include lack of funding, conflict, and untrained personnel, meaning that it will not be sustainable for the whole community (country, state, city) since there are deficits on a fundamental level causing only a percentage to access the necessary establishments. Surely that is an example of an obstacle to sustainable conditions.
The policy instruments that I would emphasize upon are the economic and regulatory policy measures. I strongly believe that through strong decision making that are just such as International Laws are the most convenient ones that will bring countries/societies both struggling and in progress to obtain the goal of peace, justice, and strong institutions. The economic aspect serves as a good promoter as well because it addresses the necessary components that are essential for a society to become sustainable in the form of global trade and subsidizing efforts to citizens. Through these policy instruments, a country is able to build a strong base of people while also maintaining the necessary elements to ensure justice and established institution including schools, hospitals, infrastructure, and a functioning public sector.
The top two policies instruments that would be used to overcome the problem of hunger and working towards the goal of zero hunger would be the information-based instrument and the behavioral instrument. The information-based instrument would take part in the goal of zero hunger with its effort that are driven by the private sector in collaboration with its influence to ask the public for donations in order to achieve their goal around this issue. There are campaigns that are funded by companies that give some information on the issue while also stating that when a consume purchases a product some of the proceeds will go towards a cause related to hunger in this case. This motivates consumers to be aware of an issue and feel like they are making a change without necessarily altering their behavior. The consumer will result in having some knowledge on the issue and be more aware of it and leave an opportunity to continue caring about the issue. There are also websites that are mainly used with the purpose to gather donations but while a consumer visits the page they are also gaining some knowledge on the issues, which encourages them to continue being an advocate for the cause. Often time popular public figures speak about a cause and encourage people to visit a site to gain more knowledge, and possibly donate money to a cause. The holiday season is also a reminder of the issue of hunger, not so much around the world but locally. During this time there are can food drives that will be given to families who struggle with food insecurity and there are also holiday races that commonly choose issues of hunger to be their focal points specially around the time of thanksgiving. This instrument would be the most effective in tackling this cause because it draws attention to a reality people do not think about unless they are experiencing it themselves.
The other instrument that would be effective to tackling this issue would be the behavioral instrument. This could be used by communities all over the world but more specifically in the third world that cultivate much of their own food. A huge problem right now is that big seed companies such as Monsanto are trying to appeal to farmers in the third world to use their seed to grow and sell for profit. The problem with this is that the seeds cannot be used again and the farmers are forces to continue buying seeds and that is an ongoing expense that in most cases farmers cannot afford. In addition to this those villages cannot live on one single crop alone. Their behaviors can change this cycle by rejecting companies who will force them to keep being consumers of their seeds and they can continue to reuse seeds from previous harvest as well as trade crops with other farmers in the area. By maintaining the pervious practices of planting multiple crops within a plot of land as well as building communities that are willing to trade food and goods it can give them an opportunity for these people to help one another in a case where there was a bad season for crops or in case of a weather disaster ruining crop production. It would be challenging to reject the opportunity to receive an immediate influx of economic stimulation, however by rejecting this the health of their soil will remain high and that will give them the opportunity for sustainable economic growth. Also practices can be implemented such as composting to rejuvenate the nutrients of the soil as well as reducing the amount of waste generated by the community. Changing the behavior of a large group of people and creating a community where people rely on each other can impact other issues such as hunger.
The number I have chosen is 7. Affordable and clean energy. The reason I pick this is because today on a global scale in each and every country, city, town there is some type of environmental implement that is taking affect and causing change amongst the wild life, climate, and eventual the people that live of of the resources of the land. Recently have been paying very high electricity bills, I live in a fairly small single bed studio and I don’t actually spend much time there or use much energy to my understanding. I do believe that energy now days can be affordable although I also believe it is more important for people to sacrifice a little bit more money for a return to the environment. Although policy and corporations well drive the market of the overall environment knows days with social media and technology. It is important for people to think of their environment on a whole different scale.
I am originally from the central valley where most people do not think of the environment much and have less attention towards what can be done better. I did have expiries of seeing air quality control and tree planting; something that has come up more recently is water. In which many places in the central valley have not stored enough water or people in general are using unnecessary amounts. When I moved to San Francisco, although not much better but more developed in media was a cause for environmental change. It is important that people learn new ways to develop energy sources and recycling what we have produced. Unfortunate there are not to many incentives for people to do this something as making it more affordable would. The overall and second policy that would make the best change would be change to the infrastructure of business and economic in comparison to the environment and social change. On a global scale many industries will have to participate in order to help create better and more affordable energy.
I see climate action as one of the most important sustainable development goals. While they all have merit, and are all important in their own individual ways, if we continue down the environmentally unfriendly path we are on, we won’t have a world in which we can work on solving the other issues. I feel the biggest obstacle to enacting the environmental changes necessary to survive is politics. There are a lot of subdivisions within politics, but as a whole, politics stand in the way of real change. Politics are wonderful things, they allow for voices from all perspectives to be heard, but in the case of climate change, the climate change deniers have seemingly as much say as the scientists who have spent their lives studying these changes. The deniers have nothing solid to back up their statements, and yet they continue to impact policy decisions, spending, and make changes (or keep changes from being made) that will impact generations to come. Some of the most important policy changes that the American government specifically can make are ones regarding use of specific kinds of resources. Instead of choosing to rely too heavily on fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources, our government could offer more incentives to instead use renewable or green resources. In the last decade, incredible advancements have been made in wind, water, and solar powers. Another specific change we could make is to invest far more heavily in better and greener public transportation. Just as the federal government and President Eisenhower made the interstate highway system happen, we could make a more connected and faster public transportation system happen. The biggest issue with that is simply that transportation funding is almost entirely left up to state governments, when there really should be a federal plan to make a more connected country. One of my classmates discussed the potential for “information-based instruments” that can help with analysis and understanding of the issues surrounding pollution of all kinds. I agree with this, data based analysis can and should be an integral part of our climate change solutions.
The sustainability goal that I believe is the most pressing issue currently would be the need for affordable and clean energy. The worlds energy institutions are cemented in fossil fuels and other sources of non-renewable energy. These institutions are based on unsustainable methods of extracting these energy sources like fracking that have detrimental ramifications on the environment. If these methods are kept in force, we will face a global epidemic that will see energy prices rising, and the destruction of our environment. The only answer to combat the looming issue of our plants reliance on non-renewable energies is to make the switch to cheaper and clean sustainable energies. However, the switch to clean and renewable energies is going to be a long and difficult road and will require the world to come together and work as one. I believe the biggest road block is going to be dismantling the massive oil industry and its heavy dependence on fossil fuels as well as its reluctance to switch to renewables. On the other hand, its not going to be impossible, all we need to do is get the oil industry on the side of renewable and clean energies.
The policy instruments that I believe would work best for the planets switch to renewable energies are regulatory and economic based. Switching to renewables would be economically feasible because of the positive possibilities that come along with it. Not only does it have potential to save trillions of dollars in extraction, refining, and transportation methods, it also has the potential to create global prosperity. Regulatory based instruments will also help in the switch to renewables by placing ambient standards on public goods like water systems and the air. If we can put stronger regulations on pollution and the operations of power plants we can hopefully get the oil companies to start the process of switching to renewable and clean energy.
Sustainable Cities and Communities will help strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty. Presently many cities and communities in are built in unsustainable manner that relies on fossil fuels, dedicates too much requires space for automobiles, and burdens the working class and poverty stricken individuals to own cars to be able to get to place of employment. Many communities have been built on perceived demand to profit developers, but not socially equal due to design that requires a person to commute further to place of employment to spending more on commute, and many developments have lacked environmental integrity. Many developments lack environmental integrity due to encouraging run-off and not building enough connected green spaces.
The top two policy instruments I would encourage to build more Sustainable Cities and Communities would be to enact Behavioral Instruments and Economic Instruments.
In terms of property tax, land owners need to taxed based on amount of cost on how much it would cost to maintain the electric, water, sewer, road, and sidewalk infrastructure in front of the property, this would discourage the desire for people to move into suburban sprawl and live in better connected communities. For car owners the higher tax on registration, petrol, and parking spaces to the point of passing true costs to car owners and not having the whole population subsidizing car use. Many urban areas parking policies need to be repealed and not require parking with every development. Any property owner wants to provide parking, the property tax needs to be increased for parking spaces and the property owner may pass the cost to the car owner who wants to occupy the space. All the taxes charged needs to be used to fund clean energy, public transit, bicycle infrastructure, wider sidewalks, car sharing, green and public spaces, and more affordable housing development that doesn’t require parking spaces. The idea would encourage more dense and higher development and design of town to be able to be near locations of need.
With the mentioned taxes, it would influence human behavior that doesn’t favor the automobile. Making parking expensive, would have a person desiring other modes of transportation. It would encourage a person to get creative and ride a bike with a cart for grocery shopping or use Lyft or Car Sharing to get to shopping destinations. When it comes to transportation norm, society needs to shame car use and ownership and not shame other transportation modes, to the point that not driving cars become the norm. Even when a person desires to use the car and there are too many on the road, the car driver will see bicyclists passing and will desire to ride a bike than drive a car stuck in traffic.
Nicholas B. Evans
Sustainable development goal number nine is industry, innovation and infrastructure.
With this goal, the need for a strong economy and trading in the local regions need to be achieved. I see one of the bigger problems with innovation is the application of the process. Infrastructure is mostly spending and how that money is applied. Together all three parts of the process seem to work as a way for that region’s economy to grow. If I was implementing a project and needed to succeed in goal number nine of the sustainability goals, I would include participation in all levels of the process. From the local level to the commercial level to the government level i would have a written out plan on a productive and useful trade agreements. By restricting the market you can force participation and involvement of the government and the people with the hopes of the best possible outcomes for all parties involved. Innovation through education by setting new and researched methods to optimise production and yield, would be another major setback if not achieved. There would need to be full cooperation from schools that lead in research to send those innovations to the market.
An example of a system of trade that works with goal number nine can be found on Undp.org website. “Pineapples on the path to sustainability”..In this the example of Costa Rican pineapple exports which can model for other developing countries. Responsible production and trade has made the pineapple production skyrocket. Blanquita Vargas is one prime example of many women that have dominated the field usually reserved for men. She had twenty-two workers under her supervision cultivating the soil and making the pineapples produce higher yields. Zero discrimination has made this possible, usually men were reserved as the leaders even if they were wrong.
In a market where jobs are scarce and underpaid the Costa Rican system has prevailed and shown the world that industry, innovation and infrastructure can work seamlessly and cleanly for the benefit of the people and the environment.
13 November 2016
My sustainable development goal was reducing inequality. According to the United Nations (UN)’s 2015 Global Sustainable Development Report, reducing inequality consistently rated as one of the the lowest priorities for global sustainable development, trailing second-to-last on its study of sustainable development growth models, with the reduction of gender inequality coming in last on this list, and economic growth and employment coming in first. The report also shows that inequality is related to, with the exception of cities and oceans, every one of the 16 other sustainable development goals enumerated by the UN.
Reducing inequality contributes to sustainable development by reducing the likelihood of social and political instability that could make economic development opportunities unattractive in countries where sustainable development is most needed. Reducing gender inequality ensures that the benefits of stability and sustainable development are intergenerational and lead to family investments in education, healthcare and child nutrition. Where economic development projects do not contribute to reductions in equality in general, and gender inequality specifically, reductions to inequalities of both kinds should be the first priority of any future sustainable development model.
Of the policy instruments discussed in class, Economic Instruments that tie equity goals with economic goals for any sustainable development project are essential, as are Informational Instruments that report equity, and specifically gender equity goals to project backers and to the general public.