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It's time for a more sustainable growth metric

We are probably all familiar with the term GDP, even if we are not all quite sure what it means or really is. But for many years, despite many a voice (such as Bobby Kennedy’s famous speech) pointing out the failings of using it as a measure of economic success or a legitimate target of economic policy, it has been and continues to be the most commonly used economic indicator. To update Kennedy’s sentiments we can now see how GDP fails to distinguish between “good” or sustainable production and “bad” or unsustainable, linear production. This article in The Conversation takes a look at the issue and suggests alternatives such as gross ecosystem Product. Well worth a read. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Human Solidarity Day

Solidarity is identified in the Millennium Declaration as one of the fundamental values of international relations in the 21st Century, wherein those, who either suffer or benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most. Consequently, in the context of globalization and the challenge of growing inequality, strengthening of international solidarity is indispensable. Therefore, the UN General Assembly, convinced that the promotion of the culture of solidarity and the spirit of sharing is important for combating poverty, proclaimed 20 of December as International Human Solidarity Day. This is further reinforced by the 2030 Agenda as sustainable development is centred on people & planet, underpinned by human rights and supported by a global partnership determined to lift people out of poverty, hunger and disease. It will, thus, be built on a foundation of global cooperation and solidarity.   . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting stories from all over

'Orange Nature': Mobile giant injects €50m into carbon removal projects in support of net zero target (BusinessGreen) How green is Asian tech? C+ at best: Greenpeace (Eco-Business) Energy firms want APAC governments to step up in the energy transition (Eco-Business) We should ban all new oil and gas fields (The Conversation) Majority of universities in UK ‘not on track to meet emissions targets’ (The Guardian) Batman loach returns: fish feared extinct found in Turkey (The Guardian) Fields of Plastics (IISD) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Credit where it's due

McDonalds gets its fair share of bad press. But to be fair, there is a lot of good about the great evil corporate food giant. It cannot be denied that they provide cheap, affordable food the world over. And often much more besides such as a warm place for the homeless to get some shelter and toilets that those caught short can access. It may not make up for the damage they do to the environment and our bodies with their industrial “food” but it is always worth noting very few things are just bad. Now they have opened their first net zero restaurant in the UK which has on-site renewable energy, recycled insulation and cladding in the build, and refurbished machinery amongst others. See it all here. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Where should we put the carbon?

This piece in The Conversation by Kian Mintz-Woo raises an interesting point about where to put the carbon we sequester from the atmosphere as part of attempts to limit emissions and therefore global heating. While the answer for natural methods such as tree and seaweed planting might simply be “everywhere” it is a bit harder than might be expected when looking at more technological solutions. Many of the “best” places for storage are in places that have falling carbon emissions. Should they import sequestered carbon? Do we need to build storage into business models in places still increasing carbon emissions? Lots of interesting points demonstrating sustainability decisions are never easy. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting stories from all over

Why increased rainfall in the Arctic is bad news for the whole world (The Conversation) Can Mushrooms Eliminate Plastic? (IISD) Reports Explore Shifting Roles of Stakeholders, Auditors in SDG Follow-up (IISD) United Airlines flies passenger aircraft using 100 per cent biofuel engine (BusinessGreen) World set to add record 290GW of renewable power capacity in 2021 (BusinessGreen) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Human Rights Day 2021

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the UN on 10 Dec 1948 and this day has been recognized as Human Rights Day ever since. This Friday, the 2021 observance will be themed: EQUALITY - Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights. This of course relates to article one of the UDHR - “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” There is very much the idea that covid has thrown the 2030 Agenda off track a bit and now a huge effort is needed to build back better in an equitable way so that we can get the targets back in our sights.   . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Flight-free movements building

The Conversation includes a good article summarizing research done in Sweden on the flight-free holiday trend there. Since about 2016, the idea that we do not have to fly to go on holiday has been gaining traction in high income countries where a foreign holiday has become something of a norm in the last 50 years. Now some countries are banning flights, especially domestic where an alternative can get the journey done in less than 3 hours. As with all trends and decisions around sustainability, there are some interesting pros and cons, hidden dangers and qualifications. Good to get the debate going!! . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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