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  • The pervasive contamination of ecosystems with active pharmaceutical ingredients poses a serious threat to biodiversity, ecosystem services and public health. Urgent action is needed to design greener drugs that maintain efficacy but also minimize environmental impact.

    • Tomas Brodin
    • Michael G. Bertram
    • Gorka Orive
  • Transitioning to a more sustainable economic system hinges on creating jobs in support of greener activities, with challenges for incumbent workers. A suite of articles highlights the need for more sustainable jobs and how to overcome the associated research gaps and political obstacles.

  • Although research has consistently shown that managing natural resources more sustainably is both feasible and beneficial for jobs and livelihoods, the perception that the green transition leads to job losses prevails. We recommend strategies for wider and better communicating evidence, to decision-makers across the board, about what is needed to reap job benefits from a green transition.

    • Ulrike Lehr
  • Scaling up adoption of green technologies in energy, mobility, construction, manufacturing and agriculture is imperative to set countries on a sustainable development path, but that hinges on having the right workforce, argues Jonatan Pinkse.

    • Jonatan Pinkse
    World View
  • Apprehensions about job losses in incumbent industries can hold up sustainability transformations unless policymakers bolster efforts towards job reskilling programmes, argues Marko Hekkert.

    • Marko Hekkert
    World View
  • As carbon capture and sequestration enter the mainstream, governments and developers grapple with the long-term liability for sequestered carbon. A multi-tiered framework with public–private sharing of risk can help promote the safe and timely deployment of this vital decarbonization technology.

    • Felix Mormann
  • Unless the green technological transition underway in Global North countries is globalized, it will fail to reach its developmental potential. To realize the ambitions of green industrial policies in the Global North, technology transfers to the Global South are a necessary supplement to climate finance initiatives.

    • Benjamin H. Bradlow
    • Alexandros Kentikelenis
  • Exploring potential synergies of genome editing with modes of agriculture, such as agroecology, could help food security and environmental integrity.

  • Dario Fornara, research director of the Davines Group–Rodale Institute European Regenerative Organic Center (EROC), talks to Nature Sustainability about the making of EROC and the benefits of an integrated partnership between the private and the non-profit sectors to advance sustainability.

    • Monica Contestabile
  • Deep-sea mining could provide a substantial supply of metals that we urgently need to decarbonize our society, yet its environmental impact remains intractable. Considering on-land resources remain abundant and can be extracted using well-established risk management, deep-sea mining cannot currently be justified.

    • Rich Crane
    • Chris Laing
    • James Scourse
  • A powerful technique with broad applications, operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) is widely used but there is a lack of design and reporting standards. Focusing on water-splitting electrocatalysts, we propose best practices for the reproducibility, replicability and reliability of operando XAS studies.

    • Adam H. Clark
    • Thomas J. Schmidt
    • Emiliana Fabbri
  • To get the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) back on track we need to reshape our approaches to implementation, including localization. Localization done differently involves progressing beyond symbolic piecemeal efforts, prioritizing the SDGs with the greatest gains, and pluralizing interpretations and pathways for actions.

    • Shirin Malekpour
    • Rob Raven
    • Brett Bryan
  • As our reach extends outside our planet into Earth’s orbital space and beyond, the need for proactive research and equitable governance of human activity in outer space is more urgent than ever.

  • The rapid launch of hundreds of thousands of satellites into low Earth orbit will significantly alter our view of the sky and raise concerns about the sustainability of Earth’s orbital space. A new framework for sustainable space development must balance technological advancement, protection of space environments and our capacity to explore the Universe.

    • A. Williams
    • A. Boley
    • R. Green
  • Reforming interventions to achieve progress for all is a tough call. Success hinges on adopting a systems-based approach.

  • Oxygen electrocatalysis is key for energy conversion and storage technologies such as fuel cells and water electrolysers. However, the measurement of the performance of electrocatalysts is not standardized. This Comment addresses emerging pitfalls in performance evaluation and discusses best practices for oxygen electrocatalysis.

    • Yubo Chen
    • Daniel J. Zheng
    • Yang Shao-Horn
  • Phoebe Koundouri, Professor of Environmental Economics and Sustainability at Athens University of Economics and Business, talks to Nature Sustainability about how the Global Climate Hub can help countries achieve sustainability against the backdrop of interconnected, complex challenges.

    • Angelos Alamanos
  • Earth Observation (EO) satellites have transformed understanding of the state and trajectories of Earth’s environment. Recent mushrooming of EO satellites and of resultant data that are stored, distributed and processed, often on the cloud, generate widespread environmental impacts that demand urgent consideration, particularly given that EO data outlive EO satellites.

    • Karen Anderson
    • Robert J. W. Brewin
    • Kevin J. Gaston
  • Rechargeable aqueous zinc metal batteries represent a promising solution to the storage of renewable energy on the gigawatt scale. For a standardized set of protocols for their electrochemical performance measurements, we highlight the current common issues and recommend practices for future studies.

    • Xiulei Ji
    • Linda F. Nazar