The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) are the leading authorities on Sustainable Development. They created the ‘Sustainable Development Goals 2030’ with the United Nations and appear to have mistakenly outlined the way forward. Their use of outdated definitions for Sustainable Development (see http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/ page 36 & http://sustainable-development-goals.iisd.org/) have created misconception. Their use of goals is inspirational, but incomplete due to the lack of understanding and confusion regarding Sustainability and Sustainable Development. This is due to the use of the Brundtland (1987) definition that is still used today. As a result, the last 30 years has seen minimal advancement in academia, seen in many published IPCCs reports. This coupled with the lack of field experience, create inaccurate conclusions that are far from reality as Sustainable Development is multiple solutions but in fact is misrepresented as goals.
In the past, the term Sustainability and Sustainable Development have been widely misconstrued by academic literature. Thus, the lack of formal definitions has allowed the incorrect use of these terms interchangeably, when in fact they are mutually exclusive. The United Nations has defined Sustainable Development as goals, when in fact it is the concept solutions to Global Warming and Climate Change and a more Sustainable Planet for Future Generations. It cannot be both without creating significant confusion as is the situation we find our selves in now.
The term Sustainability is primarily a lifestyle aspiration or goal, achieved through Sustainable Development concept solutions. Descriptions of Sustainability and Sustainable Development to help clarify the debate are:
Sustainability is a lifestyle goal with economic, social and environmental dimensions. Firstly, it incorporates the human endeavour to minimise waste while maximising the use of all the available sustainable natural resources, including water, sun and wind, facilitating a sustainable lifestyle in the home and on the farm. Secondly but less important is it includes corporate sustainability, which is about good governance in the office and sustainable profit growth in the context of growing profitability in the economy. Sustainability is being achieved to varying degrees across the world and in our communities, schools and universities but needs to be ramped up even more through education and the right message given this clarification.
Sustainable Development is about carefully and efficiently building the infrastructure element of the economy without waste, whilst maximising the use of the available sustainable natural resources. This can be achieved through new innovative construction, maintenance and retrofitting of homes, building, factories, offices, roads, bridges and telecommunications. Clean energy, transport networks and vehicles as well as Agriculture through carbon sequestration via planting of trees and pastures, are all part of the Sustainable Development equation. These components are or can be made more sustainable, especially through innovative new Sustainable Development concepts in the future.
Given this new knowledge clarifying the terminology, the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 need to be renamed the Sustainability Goals 2030. Furthermore, in response to the front page statement in the (http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/) which is poorly worded and states “in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty”, they should once again recognise Sustainable Development with all its innovative concepts is the Solution not a threat, which should be acted upon not responded to, as represented by the academics.
The renamed Sustainability Goals 2030 should be embellished, promoting additional goals and relevant solutions including:
18. Promote the minimisation of waste in our communities and with Sustainable Development concepts, without compromising economic growth.
19. Promote the ongoing success of Capitalism which has pulled the world out of poverty for over 200 years.
20. Promote new and existing Innovative Sustainable Development concepts as the Solution to Global Warming and Climate Change, all part of the emerging Sustainable Revolution.
21. Promote a Sustainable Lifestyle which should be a common goal for everybody to achieve a sustainable planet especially now we have the end game solution being Ecological Civilizations of the future.
2030 Goals are professed by the United Nations, IPCC and the IISD as the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. However, without the additional four goals and solutions above, it seems to fall well short of the mark in relation to aspirational and solutional outcomes to the complexity of the problem and related relevant issues and their interrelationships.
Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Ecologically Sustainable Development, Environmentally Sustainable, Global Warming, Climate Change, Saving the Planet and all the dimensions, goals and solutions are complex. They are all interrelated and now solved with a new Sustainable Development definition which incorporates the environmental and infrastructure dimensions and the revised Sustainability Goals 2030, as well as an overarching solution statement being:
“The emerging Sustainable Revolution of the 21st century is the best overarching solution to Global Warming and Climate Change and a more Sustainable Planet for future generations”.
The addition of this message to facilitate the paradigm shift to a more Sustainable Planet for future generations via a Sustainable Revolution, needs to be accepted as the solution. Academics need to urgently agree with this important conclusion and get the revised message in the public domain. This would give a more positive signal to the world community and if communicated effectively by government and the media, a more rapid Sustainable Revolution pathway with Innovative Sustainable Development concepts should emerge.
It will take time, maybe decades, but it is now appropriate to ramp up the Sustainable Revolution message which when executed successfully, should drive economic growth indefinitely with all the associated benefits. This needs to be a coordinated approach by the private sector, with the support from government in an effective global marketing campaign, which should solve Global Warming and Climate Change in the next 50 to 100 years and lead to a more Sustainable Planet for future generations.
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