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Sustainable Ways of Living Issue Brief Series: Leveraging Untapped Resources - Local Renewable Energies as Catalysts for Sustainable Living

  • Published on February 18, 2022

Launched in 2014 and led by the governments of Japan and Sweden, the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme of the One-Planet Network promotes sustainable lifestyles globally. As one of its key initiatives, it supported 24 projects aimed at enabling sustainable lifestyles in cities and communities based on their unique needs and opportunities. By working with projects in different countries, much was learnt about the nature and conditions of sustainable living. In the context of planning, implementing and externally supporting efforts to achieve sustainable living in the post-COVID world, the authors believe it is critical to pay attention to three main issues. This document summarizes Issue number one:  Leveraging Untapped Resources—Local Renewable Energies as Catalysts for Sustainable Living.

Issue number one “Leveraging Untapped Resources—Local Renewable Energies as Catalysts for Sustainable Living” reads: Locally available resources such as natural assets, community and group knowledge, and social networks can be fully taken advantage of and enable sustainable living. Among them, identification and utilisation of local renewable energy sources enable local societies to reduce their dependence on external resources and technologies that cause environmental impacts, create viable local economies, and strengthen the knowledge and capacities of local people in collaborating to address sustainability challenges. The challenges of sustainable living are manifold. On a global scale, we must limit the environmental impact of our daily activities, for example, reducing GHG and plastic waste. It is also vital to improve our preparedness for risks such as natural disasters at the local level. Regarding the needs of individuals and families, it is crucial to ensure the security of income, food, clothing, housing, health and education and enable equitable participation in communities and labour markets. Sustainable ways of living can be considered processes that aim to achieve responsible living and reliable livelihoods simultaneously. To develop the capabilities of local people and groups to achieve these objectives, it is instrumental to re-evaluate and make use of locally available resources and assets. Among many others, renewable energy sources can be a catalyst for local socioeconomic transformation and people’s empowerment. Sustainable lifestyles are a key part of SDG 12: sustainable consumption and production, more specifically in the target 12.8 that says “By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature”.

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