Calls are intensifying to phase out fossil fuels, and that is now beginning to occur in many developed countries. This shift will have profound implications for the developing world, which has vast untapped fossil fuel resources, but may be unable to realize their value.
Sustainable Development Goals
The world is working on sustainable development. And many of the new ideas and innovations being applied to fields from agriculture and food security to climate adaptation to socially inclusive economic growth will be on display at the fourth annual International Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held at Columbia University Sept. 21-22.
In the highlands of Papua New Guinea, tensions between local villagers and a gold mining operation over access to clean water are being heightened by a prolonged drought.
Knowing how settlements are distributed across the landscape—e.g., in clusters, along roads or waterways, or scattered widely—has important implications for designing infrastructure, improving access, and promoting sustainability.
The new global environmental report card is out. The 2016 Environmental Performance Index graded 180 countries on how well they are protecting human health and their ecosystems. While the world is making progress in some areas, it is seriously falling behind in others.
As 2015 comes to a close, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Earth Institute’s many partners, friends and supporters who help make our work possible. In honor of the final year of the Millennium Development Goals and the transition to the Sustainable Development Goals, we would like to highlight one partner in particular.
At the end of September, all 193 member countries of the United Nations have agreed to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals towards eradicating poverty, protecting the planet and advancing prosperity by 2030. What do they hope to accomplish and why do they matter?
To ensure no one is left behind by the next generation of global development goals, a comprehensive mix of robust data is needed to measure progress and guide investments. A recent report coordinated by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network estimates the world will need to spend roughly $1 billion a year to sustain and enhance the statistical systems.
Starting in 2016, a new series of global monitoring reports will examine the state of education, using the framework of the anticipated Sustainable Development Goals that are to be finalized by the UN in September 2015. The first report in this series, the 2016 Report, will focus on “Education, Sustainability and the post-2015 Development Agenda.”
The Sustainable Development Goals, to be set by the United Nations in September 2015, will outline the international development priorities for the coming decades. What will the goals look like? How can we measure progress effectively? Where will the funding to implement these goals come from? Can an international climate agreement be reached in Paris next year, and what might it look like? Columbia’s Sustainability Media Lab will present “Road to 2015: A Pivotal Year for Sustainable Development,” a panel discussion, on Monday, Nov. 17.