‘Climate change retarding world’s progress towards achieving SDGs’

Climate change retarding world’s progress
Representative Image

GENEVA: A UN report published on July 9, stated that the world won’t be able to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) targeted for 2030 as progress is being partially halted by the impact of climate change and increasing inequality. The report highlights the progress made by various UN member countries towards achieving the 17 UN goals.

Few significant improvements made in some areas were 49 per cent decline in child mortality between 2000 and 2017 and electricity now reaching nearly 90 per cent of the world’s population.

But Liu Zhenmin, UN undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, said that despite some advances, “monumental challenges remain.”

Zhenmin stated in a press conference that the most eminent global threat right now is climate change. He added, “Climate change may impact the progress made over the last several decades in reducing poverty and improving life for millions of people around the world.”

The report observed that environmental degradation has accelerated at a dangerous pace and “the risk of species extinction has worsened by almost 10 per cent over the last 25 years.” The report highlighted further, “Global temperatures have risen, ocean acidity has increased 26 per cent since pre-industrial times and investment in fossil fuels continues to be higher than investment in climate activities.”

UN’s 17 goals were adopted by member countries in 2015 and targeted eradication of poverty, defining poverty as people living on less than $1.90 a day amongst other goals. Another goal is to end hunger, achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture. According to the report, neither of the goal is likely to be achieved by 2030.

While the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped down to 8.6 per cent of the world’s population in 2018, the report said that the pace is slowing and projections suggest that 6 per cent of the people will still be living in extreme poverty by 2030 if current trends continue.

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