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The biggest challenges to Sustainability in 2024

Feb 1, 2024 | Sustainability

Our Decade of Sustainable Growth was off to a rocky start with the Pandemic. We expected the world to bounce back more sustainable in 2023. However, the major powers of the world moved towards a hybrid development strategy where sustainability was often at war with “Energy Security”, “Energy Resilience” and “Economic Support”. The global economic recovery is back on track, but is sustainability back on the agenda?

Today, we will have a look at the major economies/regions of the world and see how they prioritise sustainability.

Let’s begin with the Middle East where a genocide that has caused region-wide conflicts and are at a further risk of escalation is occupying people’s minds. Sustainability can only be achieved in peace-time, this is a simple reality.

Eastern Europe was and continues to be at war due to the Russian occupation of Ukraine. However, the bigger concerns for the wider continent stems from its prolonged inflation and lack of economic growth. Europe’s challenge in decoupling sustainability from economic growth will be key to its future.

North America has unlocked economic growth using sustainability at the expense of their European counterparts. The USA still faces a risk of hard landing while taming the inflation, however, the bigger concern for 2024 is the potential policy shift with the upcoming elections.

East Asian economies face deflationary pressure while South Asia faces climate-induced supply chain risks. ASEAN countries as well as Australia depend on trade with China which has cooled down while Central Asia looks weaker mainly due to their dependence on trade with Russia.

Parts of Africa are embroiled in conflicts while the others are facing climate-induced challenges that will extend into 2024. Debt is also a growing worry for these economies amidst political uncertainties.

South America is back to worrying about its slow economic growth and the political turmoil in some of the countries may result in economic shocks in the region.

The challenges we are talking about in this article are not only affecting sustainability but the general innovation landscape as well. I think that sustainability will continue to grow with small steps but may not be at the pace that many of us want. What are your perspectives? I would love to hear more!