Lord Michael Hastings, Global Head of Citizenship at KPMG and active in leading positions at the World Economic Forum, UNICEF and the Millenium Promise Board points out that ten (10) global mega-forces must be addressed to achieve global sustainable development:
- Climate Change: this may be the one global mega force that directly impacts all others. Predictions of annual output losses from climate change range between 1 percent per year, if strong and early action is taken, to as much as 5 percent a year—if policymakers fail to act.
- Energy & Fuel: fossil fuel markets are likely to become more volatile and unpredictable because of higher global energy demand; changes in the geographical pattern of consumption; supply and production uncertainties and increasing regulatory interventions related to climate change.
- Material Resource Scarcity: as developing countries industrialize rapidly, global demand for material resources is predicted to increase dramatically. Business is likely to face increasing trade restrictions and intense global competition for a wide range of material resources that become less easily available. Scarcity also creates opportunities to develop substitute materials or to recover materials from waste.
- Water Scarcity: it is predicted that by 2030, the global demand for freshwater will exceed supply by 40 percent. Businesses may be vulnerable to water shortages, declines in water quality, water price volatility, and to reputational challenges.
- Population Growth: the world population is expected to grow to 8.4 billion by 2032. This will place intense pressures on ecosystems and the supply of natural resources such as food, water, energy and materials. While this is a threat for business, there are also opportunities to grow commerce and create jobs, and to innovate to address the needs of growing populations for agriculture, sanitation, education, technology, finance, and healthcare.
- Wealth: the global middle class (defined by the OECD as individuals with disposable income of between US$10 and US$100 per capita per day) is predicted to grow 172 percent between 2010 and 2030. The challenge for businesses is to serve this new middle-class market at a time when resources are likely to be scarcer and more price volatile. The advantages many companies experienced in the last two decades from “cheap labor” in developing nations are likely to be eroded by the growth and power of the global middle class.
- Urbanization: in 2009, for the first time, more people lived in cities than in the countryside. By 2030 all developing regions including Asia and Africa are expected to have the majority of their inhabitants living in urban areas; virtually all Population Growth over the next 30 years will be in cities. These cities will require extensive improvements in infrastructure including construction, water and sanitation, electricity, waste, transport, health, public safety and internet and cell phone connectivity.
- Food Security: in the next two decades the global food production system will come under increasing pressure from mega forces including Population Growth, Water Scarcity and Deforestation. Global food prices are predicted to rise 70 to 90 percent by 2030. In water-scarce regions, agricultural producers are likely to have to compete for supplies with other water-intensive industries such as electric utilities and mining, and with consumers. The intervention will be required to reverse growing localized food shortages (the number of chronically under-nourished people rose from 842 million during the late 1990s to over one billion in 2009).
- Ecosystem Decline: Historically, the main business risk of declining biodiversity and ecosystem services has been to corporate reputations. However, as global ecosystems show increasing signs of breakdown and stress, more companies realize how dependent their operations are on the critical services these ecosystems provide. The decline in ecosystems is making natural resources scarcer, more expensive and less diverse; increasing the costs of water and escalating the damage caused by invasive species to sectors including agriculture, fishing, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and tourism.
- Deforestation: Forests are big business – wood products contributed $100 billion per year to the global economy from 2003 to 2007and the value of non-wood forest products, mostly food, was estimated at US$18.5 billion in 2005. The OECD projects that forest areas will decline globally by 13 percent from 2005 to 2030, mostly in South Asia and Africa. The timber industry and downstream industries such as pulp and paper are vulnerable to potential regulation to slow or reverse deforestation. Companies may also find themselves under increasing pressure from customers to prove that their products are sustainable through the use of certification standards. Business opportunities may arise through the development of market mechanisms and economic incentives to reduce the rate of deforestation.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
Carbon Markets are efficient processes for cost-effective climate mitigation. They allow the private sector to earn tradable Emission Reduction Credits from projects. But it depends on the ethics of the actors whether this program can work: the mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol is subject to controversial debate and extensive research.
The journal “Nature Climate Exchange” reports that companies in Russia and Ukraine use the Kyoto Protocol to gain enormous profits. (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2772.html). The practice of these companies are simple: their plants operate deliberately inefficiently to generate massive amounts of (toxic) gas emissions. Then they apply the Kyoto Protocol for their selfish benefit reducing the own emissions produced dishonestly receiving in exchange certificates which they sell on the carbon markets with a profit. That’s cheating! The environmentalists are trusting that this blemish has an impact on the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of this year 2015, and finally stricter rules shall be adopted. (Source: Doris Vettermann, Betrug mit dem Klimaschutz, Kronenzeitung, Politik, Seite 4, Mittwoch 26. August 2015).
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
The Sustainable Development Goals contain 17 goals and 169 targets. Many criticize that the scope is too broad, lacking coherence, priorities and a clear time frame; however, all agree that the six thematic elements are essential: People, Planet, Partnership, Justice, Prosperity and Dignity. Compare to the Triple Bottom Line Approach: People, Planet, Profit (for all).
There are direct and indirect references to Human Capacity Building:
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls
Goal 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for women and men, including for young people and humans with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value. Compare to the goal “Energy for All”.
Goal 8.6: By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.
(Source: Human capacity building and the SDGs, OFID Quarterly, April 2015)
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
Kandeh K. Yumkella, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer for Sustainable Energy for all.
“2014 has left Sustainable Energy for All very well positioned and prepared for the future”
50 SE4 All High-Impact opportunities identified, six of which are already operationalized:
Clean Energy Mini-Grids, Phase-out of Gas Flaring, Energy and Women’s Health, Universal Adoption of Clean Cooking Solution,Sustainable Bioenergy and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus.
2014 A Year of many breakthroughs accross all work streams of sustainable energy for all.
2015 The year when we show how we act to make sustainable energy for all a realty.
2030 The year when we achieve sustainable energy for all.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
[Universal energy access) is set to be a standalone goal in the new post-2015 agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals. King Abdulla has been instrumental in this achievement. He passed away January 2014 and more than a nation grieved for the man whose legacy of “energy for the poor” continues to light the lives of million around the globe. (Source: OFID Quarterly, April 2o15)
The SDG 7 goal of universal energy access receives international recognition and has risen to the top of the development agenda led by the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. It includes governments, finance institutions and the private sector and civil society.
Trouble can come when organizations or companies don’t involve in their projects influential stakeholders like local communities or local respectively global NGO’s. To avoid problems such as financial pressure, legal pressure or pressure from the public or civil society groups,- who object projects or decisions -, “Smart Engagement” shall be integrated. How a project can successfully and sustainable executed (Best Practice) demonstrates the project from VERBUND/Austria providing electrical access to the (poor) Roma population in Bulgaria.
Integrating Smart Engagement into planning, execution and management will deliver outcomes that are not only technically and financially successful but also socially and environmentally acceptable and sustainable. Engaging stakeholders in a smart way is fundamental to achieving this (John Aston and Alan Knight, Smart Engagement, DoSustainability, 2014, www.dosustainability.com) ->PowerPoint Presentation: astoneco_corporAID&ICEP Multilogue_v1.0(18jun15).
We would be pleased to hear from Best Practices Projects involving stakeholders such as NGO’s that led to successful and sustainable results for all concerned. Please contact NGO Committee on Sustainable Development.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV