Reducing inequality…in national wealth

Andrew Walton

In the current proposal for the Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 10 states the aim to ‘reduce inequality within and among countries’.  For many (good) reasons, much articulation of this goal has focused on its first component – reducing inequality between co-citizens within countries.  But it is important also to consider what should be the appropriate target for the second component.  What should be our aim and measure in reducing inequality amongst countries? My suggestion is to lessen the gap in per capita national wealth – the value of each country’s financial and physical assets.

Part of a blog series from Newcastle University Societal Challenge Theme Institutes giving recommendations for targets and indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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SDGs need to align with global policies for biodiversity

Philip McGowan

Goal 15 requires the protection of the terrestrial environment by stopping the deterioration of biodiversity, using resources wisely and restoring ecosystems where needed. Goal 14 has similar requirements for the oceans. These join a plethora of global commitments and processes intended to promote conservation and ensure a sustainable environment, and lessons suggest that they are hard to address. To avoid the SDGs becoming just another set of commitments to be met, clever thinking would help chart the course for policies and action to fill a range of these commitments and lead to genuine protection for our planet.

Part of a blog series from Newcastle University Societal Challenge Theme Institutes giving recommendations for targets and indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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A healthy diet for sustainable development

Wendy Wrieden

The United Nations proposed Sustainable Development Goals include ending hunger, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture (Goal 2), healthy lives and well-being (Goal 3) and sustainable consumption and production patterns (Goal 12).  To achieve these goals we need to move towards a diet that is adequate, healthy and sustainable for all.

Part of a blog series from Newcastle University Societal Challenge Theme Institutes giving recommendations for targets and indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Universal access to water is about democracy

José Esteban Castro

Goal 6 is on ensuring ‘availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’. This is in line with the notion that access to water is a human right, which was approved in resolutions by the UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council in 2010. Ensuring that access to water and sanitation is provided for all is not merely a question of technical accessibility, but about democratic politics. However, if this is to be achieved, especially in the developing world, we need to critically examine the dominant international trends that treat water as a commodity as this is a major impediment for achieving Goal 6.

Part of a blog series from Newcastle University Societal Challenge Theme Institutes giving recommendations for targets and indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This post is also available in Spanish.

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Solving the energy trilemma

Phil Taylor

The world faces steep challenges in meeting current and future energy demands with low-carbon energy sources. To attain Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals: ‘ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all’, target indicators should look at appropriate business models for increasing energy efficiency, identify the true cost of carbon for non-renewable energy supply to increase the share of renewables and define ‘modern energy’.   

Part of a blog series from Newcastle University Societal Challenge Theme Institutes giving recommendations for targets and indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

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To end urban hunger, focus on low-income housing and settlements in cities

Suzanne Speak

Millions of adults who live in low-income urban areas regularly fall short of the calorie requirement recommended for a healthy life. The relationship between low income housing and food security needs to be targeted by the UN SDGs in order to achieve Goal 2: ‘to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture’.

Part of a blog series from Newcastle University Societal Challenge Theme Institutes giving recommendations for targets and indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

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