As the UN celebrates today the 4th anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals, what is the most important outcome since 2015?
On Wednesday 25th of September, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals celebrate their fourth anniversary at the SDG Summit on the 24th and 25th of September in New York, during the United Nations General Assembly. An important event for Energy Observer, the first French ambassador of the ODDs. According to Victorien Erussard, Captain and founder:
“Our boat is not only a demonstrator of tomorrow’s energies, it is also a catalyst for uniting human energies behind the challenges of sustainable development. Everyone, at their own level, can act. The solutions we are testing, and those carried by committed women and men, prove that civil society actors can move the lines and reinvent an inspiring future. This anniversary is an opportunity to continue our mobilisation.”
Much remains to be done
It is necessary for Energy Observer to celebrate its commitment and emphasise about the crucial importance of the 17 universal and interconnected SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, which aim to eradicate poverty and ensure sustainable development transition.
A Report of the Secretary-General (António Guterres) on SDG Progress in 2019 provide insights on the progress made in the context of the SDGs, and data to illustrate the work done over the past four years.
Despite the difficulty of collecting reliable data at central level, some encouraging trends are emerging, while others are more worrying. On the positive side, let’s mention the reduction of extreme poverty and child mortality, as well as the number of certain chronic diseases infections such as hepatitis B and HIV AIDS. In addition, access to electricity in the poorest countries is improving, and the surface area of marine protected areas has more than doubled since 2010.
However, the bad news is also there: efforts to end extreme poverty are not enough to achieve total eradication by 2030, and world hunger is on the rise for the third consecutive year. Biodiversity is at risk with one million species already on the verge of extinction, and greenhouse gas emissions are constantly increasing. António Guterres’ statement is without appeal:
“The shift in development pathways to generate the transformation required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required.”
Energy Observer’s commitment
In France, Victorien Erussard was appointed in 2018 first French ambassador of the Sustainable Development Goals by the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition. As such, in 2019 we launched our own media, Energy Observer Solutions, a web series that aims to highlight the actions of those who contribute to a desirable, more inclusive and environmentally friendly future.
Today our team is proud to have produced about fifty episodes that present concrete solutions for the environment, biodiversity, education, waste recovery, etc. Engagement at all levels of society seems to us to be absolutely essential to ensure the success of the SDGs by 2030.
September, the month of climate action
In recent months, extreme weather events have taken place all around the world: massive fires from the Arctic to the Amazon, melting ice and permafrost, drought and intense heat waves, Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, etc. On the eve of the G7, Energy Observer issued a call for urgent action to slow climate change, after witnessing the debacle of the millennial glaciers in Spitsbergen, Ground zero of climate change.
On Friday the 20th of September, environmental groups called for a Global Climate Strike, a movement to which millions of young people from 156 countries responded. Greta Thunberg’s intervention at the United Nations General Assembly has thus made it possible to give valuable visibility to the environmental cause championed by the younger generation, although not all leaders of the G7 nations have yet taken concrete actions on climate change.
All the signals indicate that we are at the beginning of a critical period, a decisive tipping point for the future of our biosphere and the world as we know it today. To conclude with António Guterres:
“The world will soon enter a decade that will be decisive for both current and future generations and for all life on this planet. It is the world’s responsibility and within its power to make it a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.”
To go further:
MOOC to understand the Sustainable Developments Goals (in French only) – UVED
Communiqué de presse : Il faut accélérer la transition écologique et solidaire (in French only) – Sondage 4D-IFOP)