Tuesday, October 23, 2012

National Governments Seen to be Lacking Political Will on Sustainable Development

There is a profound lack of confidence in national governments to act on climate change, these same governments are perceived to be lacking the political will to act. When experts were asked to rate a wide range of different groups on sustainable development, National governments received the worst rating. More than three quarters of sustainability experts surveyed said they think it will take an apocalyptic event to move governments forward.

According to 2012 survey released by GlobeScan and SustainAbility, more than 76 percent of sustainability experts think a major catastrophe will have to occur for national governments to take action on sustainable development. The survey was conducted by GlobeScan and SustainAbility who interviewed 1,603 sustainability experts in 117 countries.

The survey asked experts to rank municipal, local and national governments, alongside the United Nations, media, religious and faith-based groups and others. NGOs, social entrepreneurs, independent research, academic organizations, and the media received the five best performance ratings.

One of the more interesting findings in the survey was that respondents looked to the business community to work with governments to establish a regulatory environment. Forty-one percent said technology and innovation are the best ways the private sector can contribute to sustainable development.

A total of 80 percent of those who participated said that the current economic system will need to be radically transformed. However almost 70 percent said that the absence of political will is the greatest obstacle to progress on sustainable development.

According to another SustainAbility and GlobeScan public opinion survey on sustainable development, scientists, NGOs and the UN received the highest performance rating for helping to make progress on economic, social and environmental challenges.

Both sustainability experts and the general public tend to have a very low opinion of government on the subject of sustainable development.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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