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Chapter 1

IDSA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Realplayer


Department
International Development Studies
Course Code
IDSA01H3
Professor
Leslie Chan
Chapter
1

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Five reason to think twice about the UN’s Sustainable Development
Goals
H. Hickle
2. Growth does not reduce poverty
-Zero Draft promotes growth as the main solution to poverty, but this relationship
is highly tenuous
-While global GDP has growth by 271% since 1990, the number of people living on
less than $5/day has increased by more than 370 million—-clearly growth is not
working
-Under best case scenarios the picture looks a bit more promising—but even so the
poorest 60% of humanity receive only 5% of all new income generated by global
growth
-Why do the SDGs rely on growth as a poverty-reduction strategy?—bc
the prospect of growth allows our leaders to sidestep the challenge of having to
distribute resources more fairly
- Problem is that even given the best case scenario mentioned above— will take 207
years to eliminate poverty with this strategy
-Terrible strategy: even if such immense growth were possible, it would drive climate
change to catastrophic levels and in the process, rapidly revers any gains against
poverty
-What really needs to be done is to abandon GDP in favour of a saner
measure of human progress—one that does not rely on endlessly increasing
extraction and consumption
-Has been on the table for a long time, but repeatedly blocked by powerful interests
in the SDG process
-Instead the SDGs literally pass this urgent challenge down to the next generation:
buried at the very bottom of Goal 17 is a commitment to “by 2030 build on
existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable
development that complement GDP—in other words SDGs are committed to
shelving the problem until 2029
3. Inequality gets ignored
-if growth doesn’t provide a solution to poverty, then thinly real alternative is to
reduce the enormous inequality that marks out global society—-where the richest
1% own half of the world’s total private wealth
-Confronting inequality is the only way to end poverty in a climate-
constrained world
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