The sustainable development and the displeased people

Claudio Fernandes*

More than 97% of the specialized international scientific community agree that the accelerated climate change of this millennium are the result of human beings’ multiple actions. To maintain certain life standards and social dynamics, these humans throw an excessive level of carbonic gas on the atmosphere and spread tons of solid residues in the water of various territories. To deny this fact is to stand with eyes closed in front of all the catastrophes that had been announced by the report from the UN Comission for Climate Change (UNCC). The document shows that the events caused by the raise of 0,8 points on the average temperature, which is already a reality, are multiplying themselves and growing in an unexpected proportion, putting the planet’s biodiversity at risk.

When world leaders, from both governmental and non-governmental areas, woke up for this scenario at Rio+20, back on 2012, they realized it was not too late to do something, but they needed to hurry. So they took the initiative to incentive other people and institutions to work on a transition plan to prevent a future collapse of all the civilization, in a scenario of global dystopia in case the average temperature raises more than 2 points. The leaders did it through a multilateral organization that has as its missions to reach for civility, peace and prosperity in a world that are stimulated by conflicts, injustice and violence, such as UN.

This transition path is known as the 2030 Agenda for the sustainable development, signed in September 2015. Among with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (FfD) and the Paris Agreement for the climate change, it sums up the problems and points out significant and necessary solutions for the countries to reach their Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In order to make it clear, these multilateral deals affirm the sovereignty of the UN’s member states in the spirit of good faith, united by common matters and respect for the human rights.

To change the energy’s main source and design a concrete plan to significantly reduce the use of fossil fuel in the world requires both brave and quick decisions, that confront the status quo of the businesses around the petrochemical, automobilistical and financial industries. Moreover, how is it possible to revert all the conspicuous consumption culture packed in plastics, in order to prevent the damage made to the oceans to threaten the survival of all the food chain related to the fishes, including humans? Why can’t the companies take responsibility for the trashes’ overproduction caused by its packages? Or create taxes for non-reusable packages, in order to discourage its use? Or invest in alternative sources of energy?

People who are displeased with the sense of sustainable development cant see the need of change. And they don’t measure efforts and resources to try to deny the obvious of this inevitable need, because every solution about markets has to be regulated in any form by the State, which goes against the dogmas of the neoliberals on call. In practice, however, there is still common sense in the business world. Steve Waygood, a banker from Aviva Investment, based in London, highlights that “the 2030 Agenda shows how much the markets failed”, and that failure is what new investment paradigms should face.

A report about sustainable financing from the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban, 2018) shows that, despite its growth, the financing of the “green economy” represents less than a quarter of the total directed to sectors that “impact the environment”. Considering the fact that that is the significant amount of national financial capital, normalizing change requires finding ways to direct it towards circular economy activities, while maintaining fiduciary responsibility for return on investment, and thus leveraging sustainability as a development model.

* Economist, Gestos’ policy advisor and co-founder member of WG 2030 Agenda.

Published in the newspaper Correio Braziliense on March 11th of 2019.

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