Aims to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”.
Let's learn a little more about SDG 9.
In the present day and age, infrastructure and industries, coupled with the increasing reach of the internet and technology, have become a major driving force towards economic growth, social development, climate action and many other major initiatives. Since there is a major shift in the manner of working of the world at large, industrialization and economic growth have become more crucial than ever before. A renewed emphasis on sustainability towards infrastructure, industrialization and innovation helps a long way towards making opportunities accessible for all and leading major change towards a more dynamic and sustainable world.
The need to create sustained economic growth to improve the standard of living of millions was already an urgent necessity before COVID-19, however, now with the extensive disruptions in livelihoods and supply chains created by the pandemic, the need to accelerate the generation of employment and income while creating the infrastructure needed for providing basic utilities like clean water, energy, communication, and access to health care has greatly deepened.
Dynamic economic progress holds the key to address the challenges highlighted by several of the SDGs. Here, increasing investments in key industries and technologies especially in developing countries would be vital towards creating economic growth that is accessible and beneficial for all. Apart from the economic aspects, creating jobs and employment is fundamental to human dignity and is vital in elevating the sense of self-worth of the individual to contribute to the growth of their society.
Together with industry, infrastructure too plays a vital role in both creating employment and enabling access to vital necessities. Basic infrastructure like roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electrical power and water remains scarce in many developing countries. In 2019, some 87 percent of people in developed countries used the Internet, compared with just 19 per cent in the least developed countries.
The pandemic has also revealed a wide gap in the access to digital mediums and internet-based technologies, increasing the disparities in access to education and livelihood. According to the International Telecommunication Union (United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies) although there has been a strong growth in the access to the internet across the globe, with the number of people across the world who have used the internet surging from about 4.1 billion in 2019 to 4.9 billion in 2021, a staggering proportion of the world population, about 2.9 billion people have never used the internet, 96 percent of which are in developing countries. Moreover, even among those who are counted as internet users, many hundreds of millions have very limited access.
SDG 9 while focusing on the growth of industry and infrastructure emphasizes the need for sustainability and innovation. Considering that all industrial and developmental activity is strongly related to environmental impacts including climate change, there is also an urgent requirement for innovation which creates sustainable growth and decouples economic activity and environmental impacts.
Inclusive and sustainable industrialization, coupled with innovation and infrastructure, has the potential to unleash dynamic and competitive economic forces that generate employment and income. They play a very important role in introducing and promoting new technologies, facilitating international trade and enabling efficient use of resources. The growth of new industries leads to improvement in the standard of living for many people. When industries pursue sustainability, there will be a positive effect on the environment. Technology driven industries, innovation and infrastructure has the potential to drive sustainable human behaviour like never before.
Besides, failing to improve infrastructure and promote technological innovation could translate into poor health care, inadequate sanitation and limited access to education.
In 2018, 96 percent of the world’s population lived within reach of a mobile-cellular signal, and 90 percent of people could access the Internet through a third generation (3G) or higher-quality network.
16 percent of the global population does not have access to mobile broadband networks.
The global share of manufacturing value added in GDP increased from 15.2 percent in 2005 to 16.3 percent in 2017, driven by the fast growth of manufacturing in Asia.
In 2019, the amount of new renewable power capacity added (excluding large hydro) was the highest ever, at 184 gigawatts, 20GW more than in 2018. This included 118GW of new solar systems, and 61GW of wind turbines.
Capacity investment in solar slipped 3 percent to $131.1 billion in 2019, while that in wind climbed 6 percent to $138.2 billion – the first time that wind has outweighed solar in terms of dollars committed since 2010.
Developing countries continued to outpace developed economies in renewables investment. In 2019, they committed $152.2 billion, compared to $130 billion for developed countries.
Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.
Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries.
Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets.
By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.
Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending.
Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States.
Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities.
Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020.
Here is a fun quiz to learn about the relation between Science and Sustainability
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