Rio+20: Moving ahead with Sustainable Development Goals
By Tshikululu Social Investments on 12 June 2012
Manish Bapna, Interim President at the World Resources Institute, with colleagues Peter Hazlewood and John Talberth, writes that as the global summit in Rio approaches, negotiations are still in flux, but some ideas that could advance the global sustainability agenda are gaining momentum.
One such idea is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are emerging as a potentially significant outcome with global policy implications for the post-2015 development agenda. With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set to expire in 2015, the idea is for governments to launch a process in Rio to develop broader SDGs that would complement or succeed them.
The prospect of SDGs offers a huge opportunity for sustainability to move from the margins to the mainstream of global economic and development policy and investment. If concrete goals and targets could drive development decisions, concepts such as “sustainable development” and “green economy” could be translated into on-the-ground impact. But for SDGs to be influential, governments must first address some important questions, namely: What should be the main focus of a post-2015 agenda, and what specific issues should Sustainable Development Goals embrace? Should the new goals be applied universally? Will the development of SDGs be merged with the post-2015 process, or proceed on a separate negotiating track?
They believe that achieving “the future we want” will require economic development that addresses not only poverty, but ecological limits. If a strong mandate on SDGs emerges from Brazil, world leaders will have set a promising course toward global action that reflects our increasingly complex and interconnected world.