Sustainability in politics

In our first class of Engineering for sustainability we took off our left shoe to make us feel more comfortable amongst each other. Next we were asked what our heroes were in sustainability. This is a very difficult question, which a lot of people attending the class could not answer very specifically. My answer was the Belgian government, because they are stimulating all residents to save energy by for instance not using their 'Droogkast': dryer. And I think it should be the governments in general who should be leading the transition to sustainability.

In most projects it is the politicians that decide what should be done. When you need a grant for your research, you go to the government. When an activist thinks streetlights can be more environmentally friendly, he goes to the government. When a company is designing a new product, they have to follow the rules made by the government. Therefore, I think it is their job to ensure the world becomes more sustainable.

This is why it is also so important for countries to work together on making plans for the future, to set marks they want to reach by a certain year. As long as the whole world works together it should be possible to sustain this planet for future generations. Sustainability is a mindset, not an impossibility.


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