UN 2019 Sustainable Development Goals Report

Special Advisor to SI Advocacy, Linda Witong summarises and discusses the findings of the UN 2019 Sustainable Development Goals Report:

“The coming years will be a vital period to save the planet and to achieve sustainable, inclusive human development.”(1) António GUTERRES Secretary-General of the United Nations, UN 2019 Sustainable Development Goals.

“When reviewing the 2019 United Nations Sustainable Development Report, one challenge emerges in importance as a top priority among all of the Sustainable Development Goals which are to be reached by 2030. According to the 2019 UN Sustainable Developmental Goals Report, climate change is: “the defining issue of our time and the greatest challenge to sustainable development”.(2) The rationale behind this conclusion is obvious to anyone who has been paying attention to what is occurring throughout our world. “As greenhouse gas levels continue to climb, climate change is occurring much faster than anticipated, and its effects are readily evident worldwide. The global mean temperature for 2018 was approximately 1°C above the pre-industrial baseline, and the last four years have been described as being the warmest on record. Moreover, sea levels continue to rise at an accelerating rate”.(3)

As a result of “climate change’s compounding effects speeding up its advance”, the world is left with “very little time to act if the world wants to prevent runaway climate change.” Limiting global warming to 1.5°C is now seen to be necessary to not only avoid a hotter global climate but to “avoid the catastrophic consequences and irreversible changes” which will occur if we do not accomplish that goal. What actions are required to accomplish this? Although “countries have taken positive steps in preparing nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and increasing financing to combat climate change, far more ambitious plans as well as rapid and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society are required including far-reaching transitions in energy, land and urban infrastructure and industrial systems”. And of course, “access to finance and the strengthening of resilience and adaptive capacity need to be increased at a much faster pace, particularly among Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and small island developing States”.(4)

What other important points are raised in this report? To begin with, in general, it is observed that although progress had been made in achieving many of the goals of the 2030 Agenda much more needed to be done”.

Click here to read Linda’s full review of the UN report.

[1] The UN Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019 page 64

[2] The UN Sustainable Development Goals Report page 48 2019

[3] The UN Sustainable Development Goals Report page 48 2019

[4] The UN Sustainable Development Goals Report pages 48-49 2019

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