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Connecting Texas' Sustainability Goals, Nationally and Beyond


Wednesday, August 4, 2021   

ARLINGTON, Texas - Three Texas cities are taking part in a challenge this year to create Sustainable Development Goals that help eliminate poverty, advance equity and safeguard natural resources.

Dallas, Denton and San Antonio are participating in the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, with a second year of the "SDGs Cities Challenge."

Meghna Tare, chief sustainability officer for the University of Texas at Arlington and founder of the Regional Center of Expertise for Education on Sustainable Development, said cities host 55% of the world's population - but too often, local efforts to implement sustainability goals are siloed.

"How do you address the challenges of the next 20 years, with the increase in population and the shortage of resources that you have? There has to be a bigger framework," she said.

Tare said the project aims to support 1,000 cities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which could affect the lives of more than 1 billion people from developing, low- and middle-income countries. Sustainability efforts can range from conserving water, managing renewable fuel sources and reducing carbon emissions to ending poverty and hunger, and improving education and health care.

Tare said air quality is a big challenge in Texas, especially in Dallas, and creating an equitable food system is another top priority. She noted that sustainability goals must be broadened beyond climate action or responsible consumption.

"I think we are all at the point where we have moved beyond just energy efficiency or rate reduction, or recycling and transportation," she said.

In addition to UT Arlington, the UN/Habitat sustainability partnership is led by Local Governments for Sustainability USA, the Connected Cities Lab, the Brookings Institution and other international business leaders.

Disclosure: ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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