PARIS – Four years after world leaders signed the Paris climate agreement and adopted the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global environmental crisis shows every sign of worsening. Polar ice and glaciers are melting at an accelerating rate. Greenhouse-gas emissions are increasing. The Amazon and Indonesian rain forests are burning, and climate catastrophes such as typhoons, tornadoes and floods are intensifying, with dire consequences for entire populations.
Why has the world strayed so far from its collective road map toward sustainable growth? Over the past decade, climate action has mainly involved praising businesses and governments that adopt “green” practices while naming and shaming those that maintain “brown” policies. But this is not enough. We must fundamentally rethink how to create a more sustainable world.