Sustainable Development

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  • America Is Falling Far Behind On Key World Goals

    The idea of sustainable development is that every nation (and local community) should aim for a triple bottom line: economic prosperity, social justice and environmental sustainability. However, many of our politicians have never warmed to the idea.

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  • The Sustainable Way Forward for Canada's Energy Sector

    Oil seems to make politicians lose their bearings. The get-rich-quick mentality or too-much-to-lose thinking is very hard to overcome.

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  • The World Bank Needs To Return To Its Mission

    NEW YORK - The World Bank declares that its mission is to end extreme poverty within a generation and to boost shared prosperity. These goals are universally agreed as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. But the World Bank lacks an SDG strategy, and now it is turning to Wall Street to please its political masters in Washington. The Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, should find a better way forward, and he can do so by revisiting one of his own great successes.

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  • World Government Summit 2018 - The Global Happiness Policy Report

    Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Professor John Helliwell discuss how governments can benefit from the first-ever Global Happiness Policy Report.

     

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  • Remarks at the Ethics in Action Conference

    My remarks will focus on the ethical challenges of one particular aspect of the financial system: the investment management industry. Given the increasing size and importance of this industry globally, I believe that it is of utmost importance that we develop an ethical framework for its functioning.

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  • The US Plutocracy's War on Sustainable Development

    Billionaire US plutocrats such as Charles and David Koch, Robert Mercer, and Sheldon Adelson have long played their politics for personal financial gain - even if it means boosting inequality at home and blocking sustainable development worldwide. To stop them, US citizens will need to regain the upper hand in electoral politics.

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  • The Sustainable Development Goals: Eliminating Poverty

    Eliminating poverty tops the global goal list and remains one of the biggest challenges we face. Although many people are now better off than before, 18,000 children still die each day from poverty-related causes across the globe. 

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  • Overview SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2017

    This article includes excerpts from the 2017 SDGs report - a report that looks at the world, and individual countries' movements towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

    The exerpts look at the goals of the SDGs, what they are, and how certain areas and countries are doing in achieving the SDGs. It specifically looks at the "spillover" effects that countries have on other's ability to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

    The report comes to five main conclusions:

    1. Every country faces major challenges in achieving the SDGs

    2. Poor countries need help to achieve the SDGs

    3. The universal SDG agenda contains important spillover effects

    4. Countries should usefully benchmark themselves against their peers as well as against the goal thresholds

    5. Countries and international agencies need to make substantial investments in statistical capacity to track the SDGs

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  • 2017 SDGs Report Top 10 Countries

    The 2017 SDG Index and Dashboards Report includes individual analyses of each country in regards to their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This article focuses on the top ten countries in regards to the scores given in this report, and provides the United States (Ranked 42nd) as comparison. 

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  • Jeffrey Sachs at the Global Solutions: T20 Summit

    On May 20th, 2017, Professor Jeffrey Sachs addressed the Global Solutions T20 Summit in Berlin. In this speech, Sachs puts our current economic, social and environmental crises into historical context and addresses the importance of new ideas and solutions to the most pressing issues facing the world today, specifically those in the 2030 agenda of Sustainable Development Goals that were unanimously decided upon in September 2015 by a group of world leaders. 

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  • Winnemem Wintu Chief: California WaterFix Is The Biggest Water Problem State Has Ever Faced

    The "Delta Tunnels" in California are a proposal to transport water from the northern part of the state to the southern, more arid regions of the state. The Winnemem Wintu Tribe strongly opposes the construction of these tunnels and have used community organizing and protests to make their position known:  "In the midst of a 300-mile trek and prayer journey to bring salmon back to the McCloud River, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe and their allies converge on the State Capitol to demand a change in California’s water policy."

    The tribe states that these tunnels will change the ecosystem, specifically the salmon population that the tribe relies on for food. Chief Sisk said that if the Delta Tunnels are built, they will cause  “more death and destruction” to already endangered salmon populations." This article covers the most recent protest by the tribe at the Climate March and their press release about the situation.  

    Chief Caleen Sisk

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  • Prosperity In Sustainability

    "Our generation’s greatest challenge is sustainable development, meaning a nation that is prosperous, fair, and environmentally sustainable. Our nation’s goals should be the Sustainable Development Goals for the year 2030." 

    In this article, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs talks about the need for the new administration to take on the Sustainable Development goals. He states that none of them are out of reach, and that they are reminiscent of the bold goal-setting that has seen so many of America's greatest achievements.

    "In short, for a country with the wealth of knowledge, technology, and skills of the United States, we don’t need to settle for a rank of 22nd out of 34 OECD countries in sustainable development. By setting ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, and by engaging thought leaders across the country, the United States could once again set the standard for policy boldness and innovation, and inspire other nations, even today’s adversaries, to work together for a better world." 

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  • The Ethics And Practicalities Of Foreign Aid

    The Trump administration has recently put forward a budget that includes cuts to the foreign aid program. In this article Prof. Jeffrey Sachs argues the merits of foreign aid.

    Sachs' support for foreign aid is rooted in his morality: "My own support for foreign assistance is based on morality. “Justice, justice shall you pursue,” we are told in the book of Deuteronomy. Those who fail to help the poor cast themselves outside of the moral community." 

    There are also clear, measurable benefits to foreign aid:

    "Aid works when its main purpose is to finance supplies such as medicines and solar panels, and the staffing by local workers in public health, agronomy, hydrology, ecology, energy, and transport. US government aid should be pooled with finances from other governments to support critical investments in health, education, agriculture, and infrastructure, based on professional best practices. That’s how the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria works, as one important example. It’s a model of success."

    Sachs ends his article with the statement: "There is a real question: Who has aided whom over the past centuries? And can we live in morality and peace?"

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  • Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal And Gas Across Much Of The United States

    Renewables are cheaper than coal and gas across much of the United States.

    For the second year in a row, wind and solar accounted for roughly two-thirds of new U.S. generating capacity, while natural gas and nuclear made up most of the rest.

    That’s because right now, in much of the United States, wind and solar are the cheapest form of power available, according to a new report from investment bank Lazard.

    This article looks at a report that shows the progress and therefore, reduction in cost of both wind and solar energy. 

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  • Investment for Sustainable Growth

    When the 2008 financial crisis hit, outlays on both consumption and housing plummeted, yet the investment that should have picked up the slack never materialized. It is time to usher in an era of high investment in sustainable development.

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  • Financing Health and Education for All

    Our world is immensely wealthy and could easily finance a healthy start in life for every child on the planet. A small shift of financing from wasteful US military spending to global funds for health and education, or a very small levy on tax havens’ deposits, would make the world vastly fairer, safer, and more productive.

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  • Teaching Companion for The Age of Sustainable Development

    This is the learning and teaching companion for The Age of Sustainable Development, by Jeffrey D. Sachs. Below you’ll find student companions for each chapter (which include chapter summaries, data activities, review and discussion questions), modeling companions to provide quantitative and mathematical background to the concepts discussed in the book, and Power Point slides.

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  • The Age of Sustainable Development

    Sustainable development is the central drama of our time. The world’s governments are currently negotiating a set of Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, for the period 2015-2030, following the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which run from 2000-2015.

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