Global Environmental Sustainability

sdgsssThere 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. (Do not exceed one page)

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 – and do not exceed one page for this part)

6 thoughts on “Global Environmental Sustainability

  1. The Sustainable Development goals are global goals that encourage sustainable development created by the United Nations. There are 17 goals total that if followed there should be a substantial amount of increased sustainability on a global scale. These goals were established to help combat economic and social development issues by the year 2030, and also replace the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. Although these goals serve an optimistic viewpoint for the future, there are many things to consider and factors the impact the effectiveness of these goals and the reality of their success. For example, the second goal proposed by the U.N is as follows: “ End hunger, achieve food security, and improved nutrition and to promote sustainable agriculture.” The number of people going hungry keeps on increasing every year and has reached new heights of 38 million. Ending world hunger would mean producing more food for areas that are scarce in food and also eliminating any form of malnutrition as well. Seeing this issue from a global perspective, the uniqueness of certain groups and countries calls for a unique solution. One solution won’t solve all. The economics, land usage, government funds, ect. Have to be analyzed in order to create a plan that will effectively deliver food security and sustainable agriculture. Many lands aren’t able to grow certain crops so there would need to be an increase in investment for food science that creates a genetically modified seed that can be planted and grown in an environment it isn’t normally able to thrive in. The environment also plays a huge role in how agriculture and the people thrive. Legislation would also need to be passed regarding the health of the environment and come up with suitable ways to maintain it and strengthen the carrying capacity while also promoting biodiversity of species. By providing an environment in which there can be increased production and productivity it increases the value of the land and better for agricultural practices. To achieve full end to world hunger the implementation of government programs would have to take place. A way to decrease the amount of kids that experience malnutrition and food insecurity would be food programs through the schools that guarantee meals for the children. Also, the elimination or regulation of export subsidies. In the U.S, in our agriculture system we have large subsidies to help out the farmers. By producing large amounts of dairy we export it to poorer countries in the form of powdered milk and this causes them to have a increased rate of their milk production and promotes bad nutrition because they are no longer able to afford the fresh milk and now have to by the powdered milk that the U. S exports.

    Policy tools are used by the government in order to achieve their goal. An example of a policy tool in our society would be taxes. Tax money is allocated in ways that pays for salaries and the betterment of cities. They are able to achieve their goals through this. Two policy tools that can be used as better incentives to formulate a more sustainable line of agriculture as well as lessen and eventually eliminate world hunger would be the government providing their community with two policy tools. An effective policy tool for ending hunger could be taxation. By taxing they are able to use this money to go towards feeding the children in the schools and reduce food insecurity significantly. If children are being sent to the school this creates an incentive for parents to send their kids to school and make a more productive society. Also these taxes could be put towards funding a program that teaches agricultural practices that work on their unique land so people are able to provide themselves with nutrition at a cheaper price and in a more sustainable manner as well. The second policy tool would be investment. By investing in the agriculture system you can improve the conditions of the land and create a food system that works for all. The restoration of degraded farmland and others is important in taking steps towards zero hunger. If you are investing in food you are investing in the betterment of the system and trying to improve it so it grows in a way that is more sustainable and more effective. Every piece of food counts when the population of the world continues to grow. By coming up with a system that restores land and reduces food loss in production you are growing closer to yours goal. Also it is important that once you have a system that works, being able to maintain it and use a balance of natural resources as to not deplete the sources. A long term solution is important because if future generations aren’t able to benefit from a short term solution it will only get worse and will make it harder. Policy tools are used when change needs to happen and in global goals there are many policy tools that need to take place as well as having everyone come together for the betterment of the planet.

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  2. On January 1st, 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into practice. Over the next 13 years, it agreed that countries will collaborate efforts to slowdown climate change, end all forms of poverty, and fight inequalities. I would like to focus on SDG Goal number 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure, and examine the obstacles that may prevent from achieving it, here in the United States.

    SDG Goal number 9, promotes sustainable industrial practices and fosters innovation made in all sorts of industries, and it also pushing for improvement in infrastructure to drive economic growth. This goal is essential for all nations – poor as well as developing countries where environmental challenges and energy efficiency may be driving the need for higher regulations and new infrastructures investments. The main challenges that delaying the required changes related to lobbying groups that deliberately trying to deregulate the system and prevent changes, financial funding and investments, and rapid urbanization spread that preventing the acquired sustainable design.

    Many Americans view political lobbying as a way to advance special interests at the expense of the greater good. When it comes to lobbying on climate change, the common public view is that most firms lobby against climate regulations to reduce carbon emissions, because greater regulation threatens industry and our economy. For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest lobbying organization and its affiliates, spent $90 million lobbying around climate change legislation in 2014 — more than any organization, based on our analysis. That same year, one of the highest-polluting utilities, Southern Company, spent an estimated $9 million on climate change lobbying. If our political and societal systems will continue allowing corporate interests to be valued more than our environment, our global community will have hard time achieving this goal.

    Funding and financial investments that are much needed in order to achieve this goal, are continually being burden on citizens by taxes, instead of having corporations sponsor the required changes. For example, the deterioration of roads and bridges across the United States is mostly due to lack of infrastructure investment and improvement in public assets, such as reliable transportation systems. If our states and federal legislators would have been committed in improving public infrastructure, they would have corporations, who are using the public lands and roads to transport their goods sponsor the desirable changes. However, if we will continue increasing individual taxes without having corporation pay their fair share, people will fight against improvements in infrastructures and it can possibly prevent us from reaching this goal.

    The two policy instruments that can assist us in implementing the Sustainable Consumption and Productions (SCP), and will help us to achieve overall development plans are the regulatory and economic instruments. If all of our regulator – local, state, and federal – will collaborate efforts to ensure a more sustainable and fair economy and community design it will help the United States achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals. On the other hand, if we will let corporations and capitalists dictate our societal rules without regulations, than eventually it will cost more money to efforts to repair the damages and our modern communities will fall apart. The economic designs and implications are also should be carefully reviewed, and all agencies should collaborate forces in order to assist companies to adopt to the required changes. If the overall plans to become more sustainable are done right, it can generate more jobs, which will boost the economy; it can ensure proper building codes and pollution regulations, which will than improve the quality of life for all citizens; and it will also help agencies to regulate and properly manage all of our natural resources and land.

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  3. There is a number of challenges and obstacles to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). There are 17 “Global Goals” for sustainable development including no poverty, zero hunger, reduced inequality, clean energy, climate action and so on. In my opinion, the most pressing one would be Climate Action.
    We are experiencing a lot of problems due to climate change already. For example, global warming, extreme weather condition, glacier melting, drought and flooding, animal extinction due to weather change and deforestation etc We all know that once we pass over the environmental tipping point, we cannot reverse the condition anymore, meaning if we do not bring out an effective plan to fix the problem in the near future, our Earth will be destroyed. The reason why I think it is the most pressing is that climate affects a lot of things, like life below water and on land. It can also be related to the hunger problem, poverty and inequalities.
    In my opinion, the first obstacle to bring out an effective climatic action is capital. Plans for climate action usually requires countries to control the greenhouse gases emission, from autos and factories. To limit GHGs to be emitted, technology and capital is needed, for example hiring specialists and introducing energy saving machines. It is difficult for developing countries to achieve that as capital is relatively limited when comparing to developed countries. Although we have different climate conditions in different countries, we only have one Earth and one environment. If one area cannot achieve a specific goal, an effective climate action will not be worked in a global scale as it will affect other places.
    The second obstacle to bring out an effective climatic action is the enthusiasm to save the Earth from different countries. We can see European countries engaged a lot in energy saving and developing clean energy, like the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. In Freiburg, a city in Germany, autos are prohibited in some areas. In Denmark, bicycles are one of the most major transit, bike lanes are well developed. In Netherlands, they even take advantage from cooling the warm milk to produce energy which avoided 18,000 tons of CO2 emissions. However, in United States, autos are still the main transportation throughout the countries and the government is not willing to sign contracts to commit on limited GHGs emission like the Kyoto Protocol. The United States accounts for 1/4 of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions but they are not willing to commit on anything to help reducing GHGs emitted to the Earth. If a big country which refuses to help bring out an effective climate actions, it is definitely affect the effectiveness of the plan and will make it hard to achieve sustainability in a global scale.
    To overcome these obstacles, I would choose regulatory instruments and behavioral instruments from the policy instruments for S.C.P.
    For regulatory instruments, it is an effective for climate actions because if each country is regulated to reduce a certain amount of GHGs, countries must carry out plan to cut GHGs emission. It will push them to achieve rather than suggesting what should they do. Even though United States did not sign the Kyoto Protocol, they can still regulate the GHGs emission from different states in order protect the environment.
    For behavioral instruments, it is effective from my point of view because having a mindset to protect the environment is important. In the United States, we can often see people do not close the tap while putting soap on their hands, putting the recyclables and compostables to the trash bin while the other bins are just right next to it, do not have a habit of turning off lights after leaving a room and so on. It is a disaster when people do not know or do not care that their habits are hurting the Earth and contributing to climate change. Therefore I will choose behavioral instruments as it will help building a mindset and change human behavior to save the Earth.

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  4. Decent work and economic growth is a fundamental goal in regard to attaining sustainable development goals. Giving people the opportunity to improve their lives while elevating them to higher social classes is vital to achieving sustainability. Once basic human needs are met for all across the globe, multilateral goals towards environmental sustainability will be achievable. The goal of decent work and economic growth once met will eliminate the lack of clean water, drive down the numbers of deaths from preventable diseases from the lack of vaccinations, provide education and eliminate poverty. Several barriers to achieving the goal of decent work and economic growth are: ethnocentric management, exploitation of human and natural resources and the corruption of government. Ethnocentric management is a management style recognizes the culture in the host country as inferior to theirs. This view prevents multinational enterprises from adopting any local viewpoints. With that being said, the synergy necessary to ensure decent treatment of workers while improving the economy in developing countries is never developed. This lack of synergy results in polarization of cultures instead of the intended unification of economies. As a result, the need of the local people are not met yet the MNE’s are announcing record profits. Many may view this one sided benefit as exploitation. MNE’s come into developing countries with the best interest of their home country. These companies have the power to alleviate many of the economic and work conditions present in these countries but they rarely meet these goals in many cases. Companies approaching these developing economies with attitudes that they are establishing markets where there are none, creating job opportunities where decent work is scarce has damaging results. Relative view fails to address core issues of poverty and stagnated economic growth in developing societies. In many instances MNE’s that have the power to stand up to corrupt governments choose not in order to remain in business with the borders of that nation. Turning a blind eye and profiting from the corruption of local governments has prevented decent work and economic growth in developing countries.
    Policies instruments for sustainable consumption and production that can be used to improve barriers, such as corruption and exploitation of natural and human resources, are regulatory and economic instruments. Holding those responsible legally and financially when negligent in upholding economic and decent work goals of the SDG. Not only countries should be held accountable for these failures but corporations who benefit financial should share some of the burden. In corrupt governments it is difficult to ensure regulatory policies will be enforced. To help circumvent these corruptions the United States formed policies to penalize corporations that choose to engage in corrupt activities abroad. Stiff fines from the SEC and FTC discourage many US based MNE from engaging in corrupt activity yet many other corruptions do not see corruption as an illegal act but a way of business. In order to do business in some countries giving bribes is the only way to set up production. Regulations in industrialized countries that punish unsustainable businesses practices when seeking to expand abroad has the potential to place a strain on markets who continue to support corruptive and exploitative practices. Just as we pass along the economic regulations environmental standards should be uniform abroad as well. Holding corporations accountable who exit the heavily regulated US market to avoid stiff environmental codes should be fined and their goods be taxed higher in the home market. Economic tactics such as subsidies towards education in developing countries could help provided the skills needed for decent work. Being able to leave a rural community with the tools necessary to obtain employment in a city very beneficial. Placing a percentage of exported goods towards public welfare in countries who are primarily exporters should be apart of trade agreements. Even though a culture of corruption may exist there are ways non corrupt societies can force them to adopt new policies by boycotting and sanctions.

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  5. The UN puts sustainable development goals together, they are seventeen points on how the world can become more sustainable, and a better world in general, and these are global goals. Some things included in the goals are things like gender equality, zero hunger, and zero poverty. As hard as that sounds to accomplish I believe the most challenging point of their plan would be the “life below water” point. This is a section of their plan that focuses on marine life, oceans, and seas health, sustainability, and protection. This is a hard goal because it doesn’t have the human aspect; this isn’t dealing with humans directly, but indirectly.
    The first difficulty with protection of oceans is persuasions that oceans need protection, and that protection is important. Humans rely heavily on the marine ecosystem for both food and oxygen and for CO2 mitigation, but it’s not as apparent to everyone as the other goals of sustainability. Sea and ocean health doesn’t affect the person, in a way where they can see the effects clearly with their eyes, its not right in front of us so even proving that its an issue is a giant issue on its own. The oceans provide humans with most of the oxygen we breathe, but many people don’t know that so saying that will not sway the general public to go towards working together to protect the “life below water”. It’s hard to project facts about the ocean because they can be very complicated and misunderstood by the public. There would need to be a lot of education before the oceans become a priority in the sustainable development project.
    Another issue that will arise with “life below water” is the issue of overfishing, and the divide between the poor and richer countries. Questions like “how could global north developed countries tell poorer countries to not over fish if that’s there only way of survival?” will be brought up. This issue is complicated and will tie into other issues of the development plan like “zero hunger” and “no poverty”, where those issues would need to be addressed first before overfishing can be talked about, since it is so related to the other issues.
    With that being said the two best ways to try to change the way the oceans are now would be through implementation of regulatory instruments and economic instruments. This would put bans on certain things and force to reduce emissions, basically monitor things that are going wrong with the oceans better, and the economic instruments would be good when addressing taking from the ocean. The oceans have a lot going wrong with them so to make them go right first the problems must be addressed, following are issues and ways that these issues can be improved.
    One problem that is currently happening is ocean acidification, this is caused by to much carbon dioxide emissions through cars and factories. This leads to less oxygen in the ocean and more bleaching of things like coral reefs, this also makes it difficult for keystone marine animals to reproduce. The acidification could also potentially affect algae and this is the main source of oxygen for the world.
    This type of issue can only be controlled through bans on emissions, and set standards of emissions. There would need to be better record on what produces the most CO2, and this would need to be monitored and controlled. The setting of standards for carbon dioxide emission would lower the effects on the ocean and slow the acidification processes, and give time for the oceans to go back into equilibrium.
    Another issue with the “life below water” is the fishing issue. There is both overfishing and illegal fishing that is affecting the ocean ecosystem. To solve this issue there should be economic instruments implemented. With a tax put on fish that are being over fished to try to push the market away from over fishing, and towards a more equal way of getting food from the oceans. Also there would need to be a ban put on the exchange of fish that are illegally captured, and fish that are protected.
    The third and biggest problem with the ocean is pollution; this is chemical and physical that is caused by humans. To solve this issue there needs to be implementation of better recycling techniques and better ways to make sure that runoff doesn’t go into the oceans, this is a very complicated issue because there is so much that determines pollution it would be almost impossible to control, but economic instruments is the closest thing to a solution.

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  6. The sustainable development goals, better known as SDG’s, are goals created by the United Nations in which participating countries are striving to meet by the year 2030. While there are 17 goals in total, there is one goal that particularly stands out. Goal 13 is focused on taking urgent action to combat climate changes and its impacts. Many developed nations are already beginning to tackle this challenge by creating more sustainable business practices and taking steps to incorporate green habits in to everyday life.
    Nations that are still continuing to develop however, have more obstacles to overcome in the realm of climate change. In countries like Ecuador or Haiti, sustainability often takes a back seat not because of a lack of green technology, but the cost that comes along with implementing this technology. Developing nations aren’t the only polluters in the world, and certainly not the largest. More developed nations such as the United States and China are also to blame for the decline in our world’s climate. Not only have these nations built large polluting factories in their own countries, but they have also built set up shop in other nations that have more lax environmental policies and exploited them all for the sake of saving money. In order to achieve sustainability on a global there needs to be global policies sent in to place to make sure that all nations have a set standard on what it means to be green. There also needs to be programs set in place that will help provide green technology to those who either don’t have access to it, or who cannot afford it. It is important to make sure that everyone is on a level playing field so we can work together in unison to fight climate change.
    In order to create action to work towards eliminating climate change and its impacts, two policies could prove to be effective. The first being taxation. Implementation of a tax on items that are deemed to be harmful to the environment would not only help to raise money that can be put back into green research and technologies, but it would also act as a deterrent for individuals buying these harmful products in the first place and instead opting for a greener and more affordable alternative. A second policy of investment in technologies and education would also help in overcoming the current obstacles faced when it comes to climate change. By educating future generations about environmental impacts and the steps necessary to live a greener life we can create a future that is always thinking ahead and striving to reduce the impact that humans have on earth. By investing in technologies that can assist us in doing so, we can make sustainability more affordable and accessible to everyone benefiting our world as a hole.


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