UN calls for urgent action on climate change to achieve development goals

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-13 23:31:11|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

NAIROBI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations has called for urgent action on climate change to help achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).

According to the sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) report, urgent action is required now as any delay in climate action increases the cost of achieving SDGs and Paris Agreement targets on combating climate change.

"At present the world is not on track to meet the SDGs by 2020 or 2050," says the report launched Wednesday on the sidelines of the ongoing fourth session of United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi.

It said that green investment of two percent of countries' GDP would deliver long-term growth as high as presently projected but with fewer impacts from climate change, water scarcity and loss of ecosystems.

The report that was authored by 250 scientists during the last five years, says that the world has the science, technology and finance it needs to move towards a more sustainable development pathway, although sufficient support is still missing.

"It is unfortunate that we have what it takes to manage climate change but the public, business and political leaders are still clinging to outdated production and development models," said Paul Ekins, co-author of the report.

Ekins said that the globe now requires a bottom up approach that should include the civil society organizations and the private sector to lead in the transformation.

"Climate change and other environmental degradations require a visionary, social and policy transformation," he added.

The report recommends adopting less meat-intensive diets, and reducing food waste in both developed and developing countries.

It says that at present, 33 percent of global edible food is wasted, and 56 percent of waste happens in industrialized countries.

"We need to take keen interest in climate change mitigation and adaptation, address decarbonization, decoupling and detoxification, prevention and management of risk and disasters," Ekins noted.

Joyeeta Gupta, co-chair of UN Environment's GEO-6 report, called for policy interventions that address entire systems - such as energy, food, and waste rather than individual issues, such as water pollution.

She also called for action to curb the flow of the 8 million tons of plastic pollution going into oceans each year.

"While the issue has received increased attention in recent years, there is still no global agreement to tackle marine litter," she said.