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Politics, Language and Information in the Age of Scepticism - The Effects on SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals are a compendium of seventeen interconnected goals, pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development project created by the United Nations in 2015 with the aim to combat inequality and poverty, safeguard the planet’s environment and improve overall economic prosperity. Unsurprisingly, such an ambitious project is underpinned by varied challenges and at its core, language and information are the most vulnerable.

Language and politics

It has never been easy to Identify and elect a figure capable of effectively communicating and persuading the citizens into taking collective action. However, it becomes particularly challenging when we must elect a figure that is capable to consider a nation’s peculiarities when implementing SDGs targeted policies. It becomes even more arduous when the elected stakeholders need to be capable to bridge national differences to work towards these common global goals. Therefore, language yields the power to facilitate engagement between society and stakeholders and is an important variable that affects results with SDG goals attainment.

Information and scepticism

The abilities of persuasion and communication have been salient to combat the raising scepticism amongst citizens caused by scientific illiteracy and misinformation. Such an issue is most prominent when examining the scepticism that many citizens hold towards scientific claims of climate change. Putting into practical action the goals such as low carbon emissions as a result of impending environmental changes has been one of the hardest to implement due to the rising levels of people's mistrust towards the scientific community. Increasing awareness and relying on the right sources of information is therefore crucial when communicating with a population whose scientific literacy and background are limited. Therefore, politicians that have high visibility on social media platforms ought to be mindful of the power they hold as they can sway the citizens’ attitudes which can subsequently affect the efficacy of SDG’s-targeted policies.

Politics and the citizen’s understanding of the world are the first ports of call for tackling the challenges that impede the attainment of these beneficial goals. Politicians have the responsibility to not fall victim to unreliable sceptic theories as they can sway society in the wrong direction and delay even further the achievement of such a noble humanitarian project.


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