Just one week after meetings at the UN to start the process of defining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the paper argues for a set of six SDGs that link poverty eradication to protection of Earth’s life support system. In the face of increasing pressure on the planet’s ability fo support life, reliance on out-dated definitions of sustainable development could reverse progress made in developing countries over the past two decades.
“Climate change and other global environmental threats will increasingly become serious barriers to further human development,” says lead author Professor David Griggs from Monash University in Australia. Humans are transforming Earth’s life support system – the atmosphere, oceans, waterways, forests, ice sheets and biodiversity that allow us to thrive and prosper – in ways “likely to undermine development gains”, he added.
David Griggs also wrote an opinion piece based on the paper which ran on Project Syndicate.
The paper has generated considerable international media interest, including exclusive news stories in the New York Times, the Guardian, IRIN, and a news story in Reuters with numerous pick-ups in leading online media outlets, notably the Huffington Post.