Dear Mankind and most favoured of my children
You will recall my earliest blogs ( mother Earth blogs ) welcomed the Global initiative to develop the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) to help create a safer and fairer world and I was happy that Mankind had at last understood the need to live more sustainably and harmoniously with other living things on this, our only, home. Some good progress was starting to be being made in some areas but sadly most of this encouraging activity was brought to an abrupt halt or in some cases, even reversed by the COVID 19 Pandemic.
This blog on SDG 13 – Climate Action is the next in a series of updates to review the effects of the COVID 19 Pandemic on the aspirations and targets of each of the original 17 SDGS and to look ahead to the prospects in each sector.
Despite the pandemic related economic slowdown in recent years, the climate crisis continues largely unabated. Concentrations of greenhouse gases continued to increase in 2020 reaching new record highs and it was one of the 3 warmest years in human record.
However, climate action is now getting some momentum. In June 2020, a campaign was launched to form a coalition of businesses, cities, regions and investors around net zero carbon emissions and initiatives. This set specific “tipping points” for more than 20 sectors of the Global economy. As of December 2020, two thirds of the world’s GDP was being generated in places with actual or intended net 0 targets for 2050. This covers half of the world’s population and emissions and is a promising development.
In 2015, 196 parties to the Paris agreement committed to transforming their activities to increase sustainability and called for limiting Global warming to well below 2°C to meet Global carbon dioxide emissions which need to be reduced by 43% by 2030 from 2010 levels so that they can reach net zero emissions by 2050 . Covid pandemic significantly reduced human activities in 2020, leading to a temporary fall in CO2 emissions mostly in the developed countries but sadly, despite this temporary reduction, evidence indicates that the Global concentration levels of CO2, Methane and Nitrous oxide continue to increase in 2020. By December 2020 emissions had rebounded back and were registering 2% higher than the same month in 2019.
By May 2021, 192 parties ( including 125 out of 154 developing countries ) of the Paris Agreement had submitted their first voluntary reports ( NDCs) reporting on their efforts. Increasing numbers of countries are developing National adaptation plans to boost their efforts to adjust to climate change. This includes building flood defences, early warning systems for cyclones or switching to drought resistant crops. Finance provided by the developed to developing countries has been increasing, reflecting an ongoing commitment to support the global transition to a low emission / climate resilient future.
Sources : extracted from The Sustainable Development Goals Reports 2019 -2021 , United Nations, New York