Background Note

Sustainable development is a widely valued concept across countries, governments and industries. Year 2015 has gone down in the history of sustainability for inking two remarkable global agreements promoting green growth. The adoption of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations General Assembly and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, promulgated by the Paris Agreement helped carve resilient partnerships. These partnerships commit combined efforts towards the realization of the goals of sustainability.

193 member states undertook the mission to improve our land, air, and water through sustainable measures while not hindering economic growth, and progression of an inclusive society.

Year 2020 shall mark two important milestones. First, it commences the ten year mark towards the realisation of the 2030 Agenda; and second the international community is called upon to enhance their respective National Determined Contributions (NDCs) as the global discourse is now positioned on raising climate ambitions. It is also an important crossroad, as 2021 marks the beginning of the ‘UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’, as declared by the UNGA (General Assembly) this year. Restoring our ecosystems back to health is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Much of the coming decade also happens to coincide with the ongoing ‘International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028’.

Clearly, the coming decade will have such initiatives lining-up and vying for global attention and resources. However, they would not so much be vying, as drawing on a common pool of resources and feeding back into it - hopefully enriching it in the process.

The 2020 edition of The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) annual flagship event, the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) will focus on the need to assess global contributions made, and the next steps to be undertaken by the world community to meet the 17 SDGs. Under the broad theme of ‘Towards 2030 Goals: Making the Decade Count’, the Summit will hope to establish the terms of the discourse for making the most of the decade we have left. This it intends to do by weaving together the many strands of climate action, through myriad, high-level discussions.

The WSDS is an important meeting point for stakeholders representing various sections of the society to deliberate, strategise, and execute a unified agenda underlined by indicators of universal sustainable growth and development, which would serve the overall, long- term interest of the entire world community. The Summit held in the attendance of leading policy makers and senior government officials, does not just stop at deliberations but commits to the translation of these dialogues into responsible policy making. With a lens directed towards India, it will only be through the combined efforts of state policy and industrial support, that the mammoth transition to a largely renewable power system will become a thriving reality for the nation. In the words of the Hon’ble Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr António Guterres, ‘Sustainable development is more than a goal. It is our responsibility to our planet and future generations.’

Let’s pledge to re-commit to environmental progression through sustainable measures on the World Sustainable Development Summit 2020 stage.