Opinion: Advocating for a zero exclusion, zero carbon, zero poverty world

A globe. Photo by: artistlike / CC0

Exclusion, poverty and climate change are not separate issues; they are an accumulation of issues whose effects come at the expense of countries and the most disadvantaged populations. They must be addressed comprehensively and in an integrated manner. Beyond international decision makers, we all — as citizens, local decision makers, producers, consumers — must work, without partitioning or prejudice, to construct of a world without exclusion, without carbon and without poverty.

We believe the mobilization of all public, private and solidarity-based actors toward poverty reduction is essential. Civil society, public and private actors, but also academics, media and many others can work together to tackle the development issues in an inclusive, cross-sectoral and creative manner and contribute to a “zero exclusion, zero carbon, zero poverty” world.

We are the last generation that can truly have a positive impact on the issues of exclusion, climate change and poverty. This is both a heavy responsibility to bear and a challenge to meet — a challenge that can only be faced if each and every citizen has a voice and is in a position, individually or collectively, to influence development. We have the capacity to drastically tackle these issues; the Sustainable Development Goals have clearly paved the way for such an ambition.

The SDGs map out the 2030 global development agenda. They are big, bold and ambitious, to say the least. Achieving them will require initiatives of equally enormous scale that can leverage assets and resources across business, government and civil society. Multistakeholder initiatives exist to do just that. They are large by design and when implemented effectively, they can forge robust partnerships that span industries and countries. They often achieve the type of cross-sector scale that seems well suited to address the pressing challenges put forward by the SDGs.

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