Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sustainable Development

The current environmental crisis, the expansion of social inequalities and consequent slow progress towards the SDGs demonstrate that our perspectives on international development and environmental sustainability are insufficient. We need new ways of knowing and doing that are able to promote transformations to a sustainable future.

Institutionally, cultivating world-class interdisciplinary research communities is a priority area in Warwick's recently published research strategy, which also names sustainable development as a key research theme to be advanced. The Institute for Global Sustainable Development plays a central role in achieving these strategic goals and provides a focal point for research that crosses disciplinary boundaries and has a transformative impact towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Four years of SDGs: what progress has been achieved?

No country is currently on track for achieving all 17 goals. There are major performance gaps even in the top countries on SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). There are alarming negative trends in greenhouse gas emissions and threatened species (see recent IPCC and IPBES reports.)

New voices, old silences

Sustainable Development is not only about net zero emissions, it is much more complex and covers critical issues such as:

  • Increasing income and wealth inequalities, as well as gaps in health and education
  • High-income countries generate high environmental and socio-economic spillover effects (e.g. deforestation, poor labour standards in supply chains)
  • Eradicating extreme poverty remains a global challenge for half of world’s nations

IGSD undertakes world-leading transdisciplinary research and capacity development to tackle global challenges and promote transformative change to sustainable development. We do this by establishing equitable partnerships with researchers and non-scientific stakeholders across the global North and the global South to work on challenge-led research projects which cross the boundaries of disciplines in the humanities, natural and social sciences.