n 2015, the United Nations Member States, including the United States, unanimously approved 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs are non-binding; each nation is to implement them based on its own priorities and circumstances. The article below argues that the SDGs are a critical normative framework the United States should use to improve human quality of life, freedom, and opportunity by integrating economic and social development with environmental protection. It collects the recommendations of 21 experts on steps that the Biden-Harris Administration should take now to advance each of the SDGs. It is part of a book project that will recommend not only federal actions, but also actions by state and local governments, the private sector, and civil society. In the face of multiple challenges and opportunities, this article is intended to contribute to a robust public discussion about how to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society and make America a better place for all.
John C. Dernbach is Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability and Director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center at Widener University Commonwealth School of Law. Scott E. Schang is Professor of Practice and Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic at Wake Forest University School of Law and Senior Director for Corporate Engagement at Landesa.
Beyond the Forest Sustainability Magazine is making Making America A Better Place for All: Sustainable Development Recommendations for the Biden Administration available for free download:
Originally published on ELI.org March, 2021.
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