If the earth is a frying pan, there is no doubt that it is heating up at a rapid and unprecedented rate. For quite some time now, we have been presented with insurmountable scientific evidence linking the increasing frequency of erratic weather, rising sea-levels, and devastating forest fires to human-induced build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and egregious ecological degradation. What was once referred to as the green-house effect or global warming is these days spoken of as climate change. In 2015, the UN adopted the SDGs as a universal program for change with targets to be met by 2030.

Governments and civil society have overwhelmingly embraced these seventeen panegyric goals to the extent that sustainable development and sustainability have become meaningless buzzwords. Goal 13 of the SDGs is a plea to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”. It begs the question whether sustainable development is the appropriate panacea for an overheated ‘frying pan’ or will it make matters worse by pushing humanity closer to the ‘raging inferno’?

My talk suggests that the sustainable development approach is yet another elite driven hegemonic ploy to maintain the status quo. The talk, however, is not just a wrecking ball in a demolition job on the SDGs. It will also explore novel ways of constructing effective and ecologically wise paradigms and practices that focus on indigenous-inspired social and ecological regeneration.