Climate Change Taking Toll on World’s Development Goals: UN
Countries are not going to achieve their development goals anytime soon because of accelerating climate change. With record heat waves, floods, and hurricanes seen so far in 2023, this is evident enough that climate change is here. Extreme weather continues to create havoc across the world, amid millions of people across the world facing food insecurity, diseases and no access to clean water.
The newly released report card reveals that governments have not done enough to achieve their respective goals of the Paris climate deal. And carbon emissions rose by 1 percent year-on-year last year, and increased by 0.3 percent from January to June 2023.
The report says current pledges on CO2 emissions will likely lead to an increase in global average temperature of 2.6 degrees compared to the 1850-1900 pre-industrial levels. Large-scale, rapid and systemic transformations will be needed to make faster progress, but some changes in the global climate are unlikely to be reversed.
World Off-Track for Development Goals
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world is nearly halfway to the 2030 deadline for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but barely there. “The world is woefully off-track.” Only 15 percent of the 17 development goals are on track.
Professor Petteri Taalas, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General, said the science community stands united in the effort to achieve prosperity for people and the planet. He highlights groundbreaking scientific and technological advances, like high-resolution climate modeling, AI and nowcasting catalyzing transformation to achieve the SDGs. The expert believes achieving Early Warnings for All by 2027 will save lives and livelihoods, and help safeguard sustainable development.
The report sheds light on how weather predictions help boost food production and move closer to zero hunger. It says integrating epidemiology and climate information helps understand and anticipate those diseases that are sensitive to climate. The report highlights that early-warning systems can help reduce poverty. It can give masses the chance to prepare and limit the impact.
Power of Science
Guterres believes science is central to solutions. Its known that weather, climate and water-related sciences provide the reinforcement for climate action. The UN boss said it’s less recognized how science can supercharge progress on the SDGs.
Inger Anderson, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, says science continues to show that we are not doing enough to lower emissions and meet the development goals. “We must increase our ambition and action.” Anderson believes real work is needed to transform economies through a just transition to a sustainable future for everyone.