Social Infrastructure SDGs I

Social Infrastructure SDGs I

Wendy Whewell

22 years: ESG & Climate Change

In this video, Wendy covers three UN Sustainable Development Goals: Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8). She explores their aims and progress. SDG 6 addresses universal clean water access, but challenges persist. SDG 7 targets sustainable energy access, requiring faster progress. SDG 8 seeks economic growth with decent work, but challenges remain, including the impact of COVID-19 and child labor.

In this video, Wendy covers three UN Sustainable Development Goals: Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8). She explores their aims and progress. SDG 6 addresses universal clean water access, but challenges persist. SDG 7 targets sustainable energy access, requiring faster progress. SDG 8 seeks economic growth with decent work, but challenges remain, including the impact of COVID-19 and child labor.

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Social Infrastructure SDGs I

17 mins 24 secs

Overview

The UN SDGs aimed at improving social infrastructure include SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and finally, SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals. Here, the first three are covered. SDG 6 aims to combat water scarcity and improve sanitation. Despite some progress, billions still face water shortages, and critical ecosystems remain unprotected. SDG 7 strives for affordable, sustainable energy for all; however, the pace of progress needs acceleration to meet 2030 targets. SEforAll exemplifies efforts in this domain. SDG 8 promotes inclusive economic growth and decent work, but progress has been hindered by global disruptions, including the pandemic. FairTrade International's initiatives underscore the importance of this goal, working towards better work conditions and prohibiting child labour.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the aim of SDG 6 and what progress has been made

  • Understand the aim of SDG 7 and what progress has been made

  • Understand the aim of SDG 8 and what progress has been made

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Summary
What is the aim of SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, and are we on track?
The aim of SDG 6 is to universally ensure access to clean water and sanitation, foster better water quality, amplify water-use efficiency, and protect water-related ecosystems. Despite promising progress, we are falling behind on these goals. 

The escalating water demand, which has outpaced population growth, leads to water scarcity that afflicts between 2 to 3 billion people annually. While access to safe drinking water has seen an encouraging rise from 70% to 74% between 2015 and 2020, over 2 billion people continue to live without this necessity. Similarly, sanitation and hygiene access must increase substantially to meet the 2030 deadline. 

Initiatives like the One Drop Foundation are championing this cause, but the ominous shadow of a global water crisis and deteriorating ecosystems hinder progress.

What is the aim of SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, and are we on track?

SDG 7 aims for universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable modern energy, enhancing renewable energy use, improving energy efficiency, and boosting clean energy research and investment. 

Progress, although significant, is insufficient. While electricity access grew from 83% to 91% of the global population from 2010 to 2020, the growth rate is too slow to reach full coverage by 2030. Renewables' share of total energy use also only increased marginally, and energy efficiency improvement rates must also accelerate. Notable organisations like SEforAll are leading the charge, but efforts must be intensified to fully realise this goal.

What is the aim of SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, and are we on track?
The aim of SDG 8 is to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, with full, productive employment and decent work for all. The targets range from sustaining per capita economic growth, promoting job creation and enterprise growth, to eradicating modern slavery and child labour. 

However, the International Labour Organisation reports that achieving these targets by 2030 is currently unlikely, especially due to COVID-19's impact. Global GDP saw significant disruptions, and labour productivity levels and unemployment rates fluctuated. Moreover, child labour remains a significant challenge. 

Despite efforts by organisations like FairTrade International to improve working conditions and pay, much work remains.

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Wendy Whewell

Wendy Whewell

Wendy Whewell is the head of ESG and climate change for corporate and commercial banking at Santander. She has spent her career in corporate relationship banking and is now involved in delivering Santander's ambition to be a leader in supporting businesses, individuals, and communities to navigate the journey of mitigating the risks of climate change and achieving net zero in a responsible and sustainable manner. She has also undertaken additional projects such as improving education, career advice, providing support to disadvantaged young people, and sustainability. When she is not working, she likes to undertake wildlife photography, which has taken her around the world to witness the impact of climate change on our planet and all who inhabit it.

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