United Nations: Global sustainability goals are in ‘deep trouble’

1 05 2023

Image: sustainability-times.com

By Laureen Fagan from sustainability-times/.com • Reposted: May 1, 2023

Global progress on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been stalled, with the COVID-19 pandemic and conflict in Ukraine causing setbacks that threaten achievement of the 2030 goals.

“It’s time to sound the alarm. At the midway point on our way to 2030, the SDGs are in deep trouble,” said the new interim report, previewed this week. “A preliminary assessment of the roughly 140 targets with data show only about 12% are on track.”

For example, 575 million people (about 7% of the world’s population) will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030 if current trends hold. That compares to 800 million in 2015 (10.8%). “The COVID-19 pandemic reversed three decades of steady progress with the number of people living in extreme poverty increasing for the first time in a generation,” the report said. Some 70 million were pushed back into extreme poverty since 2019.

There have been successes: child mortality rates continue to fall, progress on HIV prevention and treatment continues, and there are gains on electricity access in poor countries. Renewable energy and an increased number of marine protected areas are bright spots. But on far too many measures, including climate-related goals, more is needed.

At this rate, some 660 million people will still lack power and renewable energy will still be a fraction of the mix in 2030. Climate finance is falling short and debt relief is increasingly critical in the developing world. Food security (SDG2) and safe water access (SDG6) are threatened as more people are affected by climate impacts.

“The world is on the brink of a climate catastrophe and current actions and plans to address the crisis are insufficient. Without transformative action starting now and within this decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions deeply and rapidly in all sectors, the 1.5°C target will be at risk and with it the lives of more than three billion people,” the report said.

“Failure to act leads to intensifying heatwaves, droughts, flooding, wildfires, sea-level rise, and famines. Emissions should already be decreasing now and will need to be cut almost by half by 2030 – a mere seven years from now.”

Guterres is appealing for “deep reforms of the international financial architecture” through international lenders and development banks, including SDG stimulus funds of at least US$500 billion per year to assist low-income nations with their plans for the SDG targets.

“Many developing countries cannot invest in the SDGs because they face a financing black hole. Before the pandemic, the annual SDG funding gap was $2.5 trillion. According to the OECD, that figure is now at least $4.2 trillion,” said Guterres. “And many developing countries are buried under a mountain of debt.”

The interim report was released ahead of the UN General Assembly’s high-level Economic and Social Council meeting in July and, ultimately, the SDG summit in September.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.sustainability-times.com/low-carbon-energy/un-sdgs-global-sustainability-goals-are-in-deep-trouble/




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