Takeaways From The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2023

The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) is an annual flagship event organized by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), New Delhi, India. TERi is an independent research institute that was founded in 2001. So, the ESDS 2023 was its 22nd edition, held under the title “Mainstreaming Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience for Collective Action.”

The aim of TERI behind hosting this WSDS every year is to bring:

  • Global thought leaders,
  • Sustainability activists,
  • Political decision-makers,
  • Global business leaders,
  • Scientists and researchers,
  • Civil society members, and
  • Media on a single forum. 

Over the years, the Summit has become one of the crucial international events that emphasizes world sustainability. Nearly forty thousand delegates attend the summit every year. 

Takeaways from the WSDS 2023

By and large, the WSDS 2023 reached more than one million people via social media under the leadership of two state government heads, twenty-three ministers, 270+ speakers, 25+ partners, and 1200+ in-person delegates. 

Several key speakers, including the Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change; Professor, Earth Institute and Columbia University; Hon’ble Prime Minister of India; COP28 President Designate, UAE;  Chancellor, TERI School of Advanced Studies; and Vice President, Republic of Guyana, delivered their speeches throughout the 3-day summit.

Day 1 Key Takeaways

  • The Union Budget 2023 has a few elements that support “green growth” and the need for sustainable development. 
  • Countries’ combined efforts are necessary for:
    • reducing the use of fossil fuel or its production; 
    • carbon capture utilization and storage; and 
    • mass transformation from non-renewable to renewable energy.
  • Forests are an integral factor in our ecosystem and biodiversity, so forest-rich countries have to protect them while balancing economic growth. 
  • Adapting to nature-based solutions is what sustainability means. 
  • Green budgeting is an extraordinary tool to diligently plan and track the funds, policies, and outlays of sustainable efforts. 
  • The five pillars of the Green Development Pact (as a part of India’s G20 Presidency) are:
    • LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment)
    • Accelerating Progress on SDGs
    • Climate Finance
    • Circular Economy
    • Energy Transitions and Energy Security
  • UAE, the largest investor in renewable energy, supports India’s notion of a cleaner, greener, and bluer future.

Day 2 Key Takeaways

  • Countries must not only focus on green budgeting but also other measures like green economic surveys, green GDP, etc. to ensure a green and sustainable world. 
  • For the Indian shipping industry to reach its “net zero” goal by 2070, both decarbonization and deployment of green renewable energy play a vital role. 
  • The UK government has contributed three billion pounds to help innovators come up with new and natural solutions that restore the natural world.
  • The National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan, has created a new platform called the Asia Pacific Adaptation Information Platform. This platform serves as an important tool for Asia-Pacific countries to develop national adaptation plans.
  • The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework has a goal of conserving 30% of land and sea by 2030. 

Day 3 Key Takeaways

  • Young people and the young generation have to voluntarily participate in activities, initiatives, and discussions about a sustainable world.
  • The media has to upgrade its curricula and literacy levels toward the pressing issues of climate change and a greener environment.
  • People have to involve themselves in talks revolving around sustainable development at a regional level. 
  • The communications sector has to start adopting a PPP (partnerships for public purposes) model.
  • The 2030 agenda for sustainable development ensures women’s full participation in attaining a green world. Participation is not only at the leadership level but at all levels of decision-making and execution of action plans.  
  • Politicians have to take on the responsibility of creating awareness among people about climate change.
  • One of the important objectives of the Act4Earth initiative is to fast-track the engagement process toward attaining global goals on climate and sustainable development.

End note

The event ended with TERI’s chairman’s (Mr. Nitin Desai) positive note that “the emerging connection between sustainable consumption and production has brought the focus to lifestyle changes.” Also, he added that the summit had well supported the exchange of ideas, problems, and solutions so far from various stakeholders across nations on climate change, finance, and sustainability.

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