So what does the UK Green Alliance have to say about education the young and about the sustainable development goals.
The Alliance had a lot to say about the goals in 2013. See this. There is also this joint paper, written with Christian Aid, Greenpeace, RSPB and WWF under the Alliance's NGO engagement theme: Eradicating poverty through environmentally resilient development. This admirably brings the goals together, and it sets out four tests for environmental resilience, which are essential for the post-2015 development framework to eradicate poverty and deliver long term sustainable development. They are:
- Support environmentally resilient poverty reduction, by building national and community capacity to respond to climate impacts and natural resource constraints.
- Deliver resource efficiency and security, by building good resource management and sustainable resource use into national growth models, as well as increased transparency, access and rights for local communities.
- Enable access to sustainable, secure, clean energy for all, through economic growth models built on low carbon, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
- Reduce vulnerability to, and the impact of, disasters and, in turn, reduce the need for humanitarian aid, while protecting lives, livelihoods and economic investments.
The Alliance argues that this holistic framework must apply to both developed and developing countries, enabling all nations to live within the planetary and social boundaries which are essential to long term global sustainability. It seems to have had much less to say in recent times, although there are not enough dates on their web articles to be sure about when something was published.
The Alliance has less to say about education, but it seems hard to believe that the four tests (they are really policy emphases) will be effective without education and learning. For example, if we are to build "national and community capacity to climate impacts and natural resource constraints" (as bullet 1 contends), this suggests education of one sort or another is required as 'build' implies learning. The word build also features in #2 and #3 and is implied in #4.
Thus, the Alliance seems to will the end without thinking about the means. I say this because the word learn does not appear in this report, and schools are only mentioned as places where there must be decentralised (renewable) energy systems. Universities get no mention at all. This is obviously a blind spot. Happily, however, it's not too late to address this by focusing on the goals.
A new book, The World We'll Leave Behind (which I've co-written with Paul Vare), directly addresses these issues.