All 17 SDGs, set at the UN General Assembly in 2015, are in jeopardy due to the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in the number of conflicts across the world
The United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are in danger of slipping away from reach and along with them years of progress on eradicating poverty, hunger and ignorance.
Urgent action is needed if the SDGs, which come with a 2030 deadline, are to be rescued, according to the SDG Report 2022, released July 7.
All 17 SDGs, set at the UN General Assembly in 2015, are in jeopardy due to the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in the number of conflicts across the world.
The “cascading and intersecting” issues impact the environment, food and nutrition, health, peace and security as well as education, according to a UN statement on the report.
Greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise 14 per cent over a decade, the statement noted, antithetical to the Paris Agreement plan — a 2025 peak followed by a 43 per cent decline by 2030 and Net 2050. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions shot up 6 per cent, taking down gains due to the COVID-19.
The pandemic itself has emerged as one of the biggest threats to several SDGs, the statement said pointing at 15 million “excess deaths” directly or indirectly due to the novel coronavirus by 2021.
Economic shocks due to the worldwide health emergency pushed 93 million into poverty in 2020 alone, undoing “more than four years” work at alleviating poverty. It also affected education and healthcare services for millions. Immunisation, for example, has dropped for the first time in a decade even as deaths from malaria and TB have risen.
The pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have already led to lowering of global economic growth projections by 0.9 percentage point, the statement highlighted, flagging the conflict for harming in more ways than one:
The report also flagged threats to food security and aids, rising unemployment (especially among women) and increases in child labour as well as child marriages. The burden was greater on least developed countries and vulnerable population groups.
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