Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) I believe that until 2030 the single duty of politics is to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals as the political twin of the Paris Agreement.
We all know that our world is in peril and in dire need of systemic change.
There can be no starker, or crueler, proof of our current systemic failure than the cascading security crises in climate, peace, energy, prices, food, and public health in the recent months that are ravaging populations all over the globe.
The SDGs are our collective roadmap of effective and rapid collaboration towards preserving the very foundations of human civilization, of maintaining the twin hard limits of social cohesion and the planetary boundaries by addressing the twin anthropogenic causes of their demise, exploding inequalities, and runaway climate change.
17 goals with 169 measurable targets, indivisible, applicable equally to Governments, regions, cities, corporations, and SMEs. NGOs, sports clubs and trade unions, schools, and hospitals, families and individuals including refugees, politically agreed by all nations on earth, provide us with our best and only tool to effect this monumental transition in an organized, peaceful and democratic manner.
This is the first time in human history that we share a global common danger and we need this universal language that allows all nations to work in the same direction at the same precious time, exchange problems and solutions and be transparent and accountable to all people in pursuing evidence-based policy and reporting measurable policy outcomes.
As hundreds of millions of people are backsliding into extreme poverty and billions are vulnerable to severe climate disruptions, we have the moral obligation to honor the promise that links the Sustainable Development Goals with our own European Green Deal, to leave no one behind, to lead the way forward into a safe world with prosperity for all within the planetary boundaries and in true respect of fundamental human rights. One cannot ensure that no one is left behind unless everyone has a voice.
Addressing the multiple crises we are facing can no longer rely on a system that has failed and that a reorientation of policies is needed. This is why we need a “beyond GDP” approach that will be at the heart of a new Sustainable Development Pact that enshrines the climate law and the European social pillar to replace the stability and growth pact.
We need to fight for social justice, and the human rights to a living wage, healthy food, housing, clean water, education, healthcare, and energy. The UN’s SDGs forge a Global Green Deal capable of ending all monetary dogma and creating new institutions that require cooperation and synergy, rather than antagonism, conflict, and war.
We often fail to recognize the fact that we are at war, not just with Russia, or a pandemic, but with ourselves, our way of life, our institutional and economic structures that have strayed from all that makes us hopeful for the future, or proud to be human. Indeed we seem to have become cannibals.
The SDGs are the Global Green deal and I am sure we agree that achieving the Green Deal only in Europe makes no sense. It is a lie that we are not ready for change. Quite the contrary, we are late. We either face the facts, and work with the active involvement of citizens and civil society organizations, through a mechanism for a structured civic engagement”, or we go extinct, after a prolonged period of chaos and violence. We’ve done it before, in dealing with the recent covid-19 pandemic, and we can do it again.