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Sustainability has recently skyrocketed as a global priority. The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and the adoption of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals through the United Nations have highlighted the need to address critical threats to our environment. But according to Daniel Esty, in the United States issues like partisan divides, regional disputes, and deep disagreements over core principles have stalled progress toward policies and initiatives that aim to build a sustainable future.

Esty joined us with excerpts from A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future, a collection of essays on ecology, environmental justice, Big Data, public health, and climate change, all with an emphasis on sustainability. Esty offered selections that call for sustainability through actionable, bipartisan approaches based on rigorous analytical research, offered us solutions for confronting issues such as the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, water shortages, and air pollution. Sit in for a diverse exploration of the problems that face our planet, the factors stopping us from taking action, and what we can do to change them.

Daniel C. Esty is Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale Law School. He served as head of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from 2011 to 2014 and in several leadership roles at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 to 1993. Esty is the editor of A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on February 13, 2020. 

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