Establish a _____
At the core of the SDGs is the very concept of sustainable development first articulated in the Brundtland Report: “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” However, the transformative action necessary from the State is constrained by short term political and economic thinking and planning.
The biggest challenges the world faces today are shaped by deeply complex long-term social, economic, political, technological, and natural transformations that defy easy or quick solutions within a single budget or electoral cycle. We call on the State to be visionary and to think beyond the usual 3 to 5 year political cycle. The challenges the world faces demand responses that span decades, and require ‘cathedral thinking’ the collective mindset to plan and initiate large-scale projects which take a very long time to complete, and so which considers the future not as vague and abstract, but as something that matters as much as contemporary wants and needs.
We urge the government to:
Establish on a statutory footing the position of Future Generations Commissioner,20 whose mandate will be to ensure that no actions today undermine the sustainable future of generations to come.
Consider establishing an Oireachtas Committee for the Future.