I chose to compare the Netherlands sustainable development ranking to those of it’s three closest competitors: Estonia, Belgium, and Slovenia. Upon observation, I noticed that the countries shared high scores in the following categories: life on land, industry innovation and infrastructure, partnerships for the goals. Climate action, however, seemed to be the area in which all three countries in addition to the Netherlands are doing very poorly, a fact that was surprising to me given our focus on sustainable management of water levels in class. Energy related CO2 emissions was a shared weakness, and was described in the following way: “Emissions of CO₂ that arise from the consumption of energy. This includes emissions due to the consumption of petroleum, natural gas, coal, and also from natural gas flaring,” (UN Sustainable Development Goals).
I decided to pick one of these countries and look deeper into their problematic contributions to climate change, and found a very interesting lawsuit. Environmental campaigners at ClientEarth are currently suing Belgium’s central bank, accusing them of partiticpating in a bond buying program that is perpetuating the climate crisis. “We argue that the ECB’s decision establishing the program failed to assess the climate impact of buying these corporate assets despite its legal obligations to do so,” ClientEarth said (Bloomberg Green). It is interesting to learn about the work being done by activists that supplements the UN Sustainable Development goals, which are very much in alignment with the efforts of ClientEarth.
White, A., & Randow, J. (n.d.). Climate Lawsuit Targets ECB $320 Billion Bond-Buying Program. Bloomberg.com. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-13/belgian-central-bank-sued-for-fueling-the-climate-crisis.