Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sustainable Development Goals to address World Challenges

Sustainable Development Goals to address World Challenges

India is in the age of sustainable development. Growth without sustainability will increase economic disparities, social tension and general unhappiness. Therefore Sustainable Development is an integration of economic, social and environmental objectives. 
Due to global interconnectivity, technology transfers, financial system, etc, global orientation of economic policy is necessary.  Technology is a head of institutional capability and it is a driver of economy.  Production and financial systems become global scale. Information Revolution made India a World Leader. Energy crisis, energy efficiency, real time data and its use in dealing with health and education, need attention.  Demographics and geo political power centre changed. The world has moved from 2 super power to one super power and now to complex power system. Environmental crisis, depletion of natural resources (climate change) need to be addressed against short term measures for votes.

From the day of invention of steam engine in 1750 AD, the world of mankind has been put up in a driving mode of development, driven through Steam Engine (1780-1830); Railway - Steel (1830-1880); Electricity & Chemicals (1880-1930); Automobiles & Petroleum (1930-1970); ICT (1970-2000); Intelligence & Technology (2000-2050). It has passed through Long Depression (1873-1879); Great Depression (1929-1939); Penic of 1937; 1st & 2nd Oil Crisis (1974-80); Financial Crisis (2007-08).

One of the greatest invention of 20th century 'Transistor', revolutionised electronics world. First commercial transistor produced in 1954 improvised on chip and capacity for data processing and data transmission made an IT revolution, reached to 5.0B XEON PHI, the most power efficient computer of the world.
Mobiles 20,000 in 1980, have gone up to 7B in 2014.
The cost of Genome $100 M in 2001, came down to $1.5K in 2013 and will be $1K in 2015. The cost of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells came down from $76.67 per watt in 1977 to 0.74$ today.

Global poverty ($25/day) rate was 43% in 1990 (India 60%, China 60%) came down to 20-25% in 2014.


World population divided amongst low-medium-high-constant fertility zones reached 7.3 B in 2014 and estimated 11-13 B in 2100. (If current rate continue, may reach to 30 B). India (1.5B),  China and Nigeria will be largest.

CO2 release, crossed planetary boundaries. Nitrogen and Phosphate fertilisers polluting land and water (downstream of river).


International Negotiations are searching for solutions of these challenges. From Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to solve problem of poverty, it is moving towards redesigning core of world development through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs integrate Economic, Social and Environmental Goals.

Three major events scheduled in 2015: 3 days Summit in UN in September 2015; Financing for Development July 12-15, 2015; and Paris meet on Climate Change 2015 (to suggest implementation framework to stabilise green house gases).
10 major priorities of 17 priorities are listed as Goals of all Countries:

1. End Extreme Poverty
2. Promote Sustainable Growth & jobs
3. Education for All (completion of secondary education)
4. Social Inclusion
5. Health for All
6. Sustainable Agriculture (new green revolution addressing agriculture productivity and fertiliser norms)
7. Sustainable Cities
8. Sustainable Energy and Climate Change
9. Sustainable Biodiversity
10. Good Governance


The strategy for sustainable development process can include: balance of proper planning & market; planning for 5, 10 or 30 years for each goal; goal setting for 2030 and 2050; stable long term diversions; diverse investment strategy on infrastructure, human capital, natural capital, environment capital and social capital.


"Climate Mitigation" an important Goal to keep the rising temperature below 2 degree Celsius.  Reduce burning of fossil fuels (vehicles run by electricity) targeting present release of 36 b tons CO2 to 9 b tones. The contribution of Usa in CO2 emissions is 16 tons per person, while India only 1.6 ton per person. (The powerful loby of Oil Companies in USA, the biggest campaign contributors (Koch Brothers') of Presidential elections, propagate against climate change)

Need for a pathway technology change to deal with CO2, with an out of box thinking of capturing and putting CO2 into the ground and also to meet energy need of the world. Coal is the most dangerous fuel of emission of CO2, therefore Electricity production by low carbon emission fuel - products need development and promotion that includes Solar, wind, tidal and other renewable energies, with new power grids. Power transport to be promoted to run vehicles, buses, railway etc, by electricity. Countries to tap mutual needs using natural advantages, i. e., Nepal needs money and India needs electricity that can come tieing up and building more Hydro Power Projects in Nepal. 

The world has to move towards SDGs if wish to give a good life to the future generations.

Punamchand, '85 Gujarat, Ph-5
27 October 2014, New York


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