Keystone Research Center Partners on Sustainable Development Recommendations to the Biden Administration—Making America a Better Place for All

Kirstin Snow |

April 8, 2021
Contact: Kirstin Snow,

Harrisburg, PA: In 2015, the United Nations Member States, including the United States, unanimously approved 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. These goals are nonbinding, and each nation is to implement them based on its own priorities and circumstances. In the April issue of The Environmental Law Reporter (ELR), 22 experts, including Keystone Research Center economist and executive director Stephen Herzenberg, recommend steps the Biden-Harris administration should take now to advance each of the SDGs, both domestically and abroad.

“Making America A Better Place for All” argues that the goals are a critical normative framework the United States should use to improve human quality of life, freedom, and opportunity by integrating its economic and social development with environmental protection. The diverse group of authors seeks to contribute to a robust public discussion about how to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society and make America a better place for all. Dr. Herzenberg’s contribution focused on Sustainable Development Goal Number Eight, “Decent Work.”

“This article demonstrates, sector by sector, how promises to improve Americans’ lives can be consistent with our international commitment to sustainable development,” said Jay Austin, ELR’s editor-in-chief. The collective effort was led by Prof. John Dernbach, director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center at Widener University Commonwealth School of Law, and Prof. Scott Schang, director of the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic at Wake Forest University School of Law and senior director for corporate engagement at Landesa.

“The United States faces significant headwinds with economic and racial inequality, spikes in hunger and poverty, political polarization, and declines in infrastructure reliability and environmental protection. In this context, the SDGs provide an important framework for measuring current U.S. progress, lack of progress, or backsliding toward sustainability,” write Dernbach and Schang in their introduction. “While the COVID-19 pandemic is an enormous setback for public health, economic development, and other SDGs, the SDGs also provide a framework for recovery, including inclusive growth, a strengthened public health system, and clean energy.”

“Making America A Better Place for All: Sustainable Development Recommendations for the Biden Administration” is available for free download at

Stephen Herzenberg, John Dernbach, and Scott Schang are available for interviews.


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