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ENGT5115 | Assignment B Sustainable Development | Engineering

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Indicative research topics for Assignment B

This is an indicative list and the suggested topics cover a broad range of issues. This is for guidance only. There is no expectation that you have to consider all issues indicated under a topic. You have to develop your own questions – do not follow the questions indicated below blindly.

a) Progress with the SDGs – Almost four years have passed since the SDGs were launched. Has any progress been made in implementing the SDGs? How are different regions and countries performing and what lessons are emerging to take the agenda forward?

b) Sustainable cities: As the world is urbanizing rapidly, special attention to sustainable urban areas is essential to support the objectives of sustainable development. How are cities doing in terms of sustainability? Are their strategies and plans well aligned to deliver the SDG targets?

c) Deep decarbonization and Sustainable development: The Paris Agreement has called for accelerated global emissions reduction to fight the climate challenge. How will deep decarbonization options influence sustainable development at the national or global level?

d) Circular economy for sustainable development: The concept of the circular economy is catching the attention of industries and service providers. How is this concept being used practice and what lessons can be learned by others?

e) Economic growth and sustainable development

Economic growth has a profound effect on climate change and sustainable development. Is economic growth compatible with the idea of sustainable development and can there be development without growth?

f) Shaping the sustainable energy future of a country.

Many variations of this topic are possible. A holistic picture with possible actions to be taken to achieve such a goal comes at one end. The risks and challenges for such an objective can also be considered as a separate category of work. Similarly, the specific dimensions of the problem such as environment, climate change, poverty, finance, etc. can also be considered as other potential topics. Finally, it is also possible to analyse the plans of a given country to see to what extent they are likely to achieve the sustainability targets. Examples could include: Will renewable energies make the poor worse off? How will the energy sector evolve by 2030 to support the sustainable development agenda?

g) Sustainability strategies

As sustainable development targets and action plans start rolling out, it is important to analyze country strategies, targets, and policies. Similarly, firms and organisations are developing their strategies to meet future challenges. A careful analysis using a coherent framework can be a good research activity. A comparative analysis of two or more cases can also provide interesting insights.

h) Governance and implementation:

How important are institutions in shaping the implementation of sustainable development? Are the existing arrangements fit for purpose? How can the governance challenge be addressed? Are global institutions fit for purpose?

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