14 Jan 2016
Rosemary Kalapurakal, Incoming UNDP Lead Advisor on the 2030 Agenda, UNDP
Indian Railways is the single largest consumer of electricity in India, consuming 17.5 billion units a year. As track and passengers continue to grow, being more energy efficient, and exploring clean sources of energy is central to the Railways vision for the future. Photo: Dhiraj Singh/UNDP India
31 December 2015: During a visit to Kerala, India, I drive past gleaming malls and the skeleton of a new metro in a hometown virtually unrecognizable from my childhood. But I also see stubborn challenges, like the very poor left behind in this economy and the deteriorating quality of air and food.
1 January 2016: A new year begins, with a new era in the quest to combat poverty, inequality, and climate change. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) come into force, part of a “2030 Agenda” for the next 15 years, to achieve development where progress in one sector is not at the expense of another, where present gains do not threaten that of future generations.
As the incoming UNDP Lead Advisor on the 2030 Agenda, it’s hardly surprising that I take an interest in this. But, personally, I find the SDGs (all 17!) far more compelling than the predecessor Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Why?
At a time of seemingly intractable peace and development challenges, the fact that this Agenda was adopted unanimously by 193 governments is historic.
The SDGs are not MDGs 2.0. They are broad, spanning economic, social and environmental aspects of development. They are bold and unapologetically normative …