Climate change undermines almost all sustainable development goals

Only 15% of the Sustainable Development Goals are on track, says the United Nations United in science The report systematically examines the impact of climate change and extreme weather on the targets. It shows how weather, climate, and water science can advance goals such as food and water security, clean energy, improved health, sustainable oceans, and resilient cities.

The annual report brings together input and expertise from 18 organisations. It is being released ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit and the Climate Ambition Summit at the UN General Assembly.

“2023 has shown abundantly that climate change is here. Record temperatures are scorching the Earth and warming the seas, with extreme weather wreaking havoc around the world. Although we know this is just the beginning, the global response is less At the same time, halfway towards the 2030 deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the world is woefully off track.

“Science is key to solutions. It is widely understood that weather, climate and water sciences provide the foundations for climate action. But it is not recognized how these sciences can advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals across the board.

“At this pivotal moment in history, the halfway mark of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the science community stands united in efforts to achieve prosperity for people and planet,” says WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas.

“Pioneering scientific and technological advances, such as high-resolution climate modelling, artificial intelligence, and nowcasting, can catalyze the transformation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving early warnings for all by 2027 will not only save lives and livelihoods, but will also help protect sustainable development.” .

The report shows, for example, how weather forecasts help boost food production and move closer to eliminating hunger. Integrating epidemiological and climate information helps understand and predict these climate-sensitive diseases. Early warning systems help reduce poverty by giving people the opportunity to prepare and limit the impact.

The need for science and solutions is more urgent than ever.

Between 1970 and 2021, nearly 12,000 disasters caused by extreme weather, climate and water events were reported, causing more than 2 million deaths and US$4.3 trillion in economic losses. More than 90% of these reported deaths and 60% of economic losses occurred in developing economies, undermining sustainable development.

Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by more extreme weather. The probability that the annual mean global near-surface temperature will temporarily exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one of the next five years is 66% and increasing over time.

So far, progress has been very limited in reducing the 2030 emissions gap – the gap between the emissions cuts promised by countries and the emissions cuts needed to meet the temperature target set in the Paris Agreement. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels increased by 1% globally in 2022 compared to 2021, and preliminary estimates from January to June 2023 show a further increase of 0.3%.

To be on track to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting temperature rise to less than 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 30% and 45%, respectively, by 2030, with carbon dioxide (CO2).2) Emissions are approaching net zero by 2050. This will require broad, rapid and systemic transformations.

Some future changes in climate are unavoidable, and perhaps irreversible, but every fraction of a degree and a ton of carbon dioxide2 The report says that it is important to limit global warming and achieve sustainable development goals.

“Science continues to show that we are not doing enough to reduce emissions and meet the Paris Agreement goals – as the world prepares for its first global stocktake at COP28, we must step up our ambition and action, and we must all do the following: United Environment: “We are working hard to transform our economies through a just transition to a sustainable future for people and planet.”

Key messages

State of the science (IPCC, UNEP, World Meteorological Organization, Global Carbon Project, UK Met Office, World Climate Research Programme)

  • Total carbon dioxide (CO2) Emissions from fossil fuels increased by 1% globally in 2022 compared to 2021. This was primarily driven by growth in oil use as the aviation sector rebounds. Preliminary estimates show that global fossil carbon dioxide2 Emissions in January-June 2023 were 0.3% higher than in the same period in 2022.
  • There is a 98% chance that one of the next five years will be the hottest on record. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that long-term (over 20-year average) temperature rise could reach the Paris Agreement level of 1.5°C in the early 2030s.
  • Current mitigation policies will cause global temperature to rise by about 2.8°C over this century compared to pre-industrial levels. Immediate and unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are needed.

Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

  • It is estimated that nearly 670 million people could face hunger in 2030, in part due to more extreme climate events that disrupt every pillar of food security (access, availability, use and stability).
  • Sciences related to weather, climate and water
  • Global investments in weather, climate and water science and services are needed along agri-food value chains because they enable farmers to make decisions – for example regarding crops and agriculture – that enhance food and nutrition security.
  • Early warnings are crucial to enable proactive action to protect agricultural livelihoods and identify potential areas of crop failure that may lead to emergencies.

Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and well-being (WMO and WHO)

  • Climate change and extreme events such as heatwaves are expected to significantly increase ill health and premature mortality, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Rapid urbanization is putting more people at risk. For example, air pollution poses a major health threat in urban areas and is linked to nearly seven million premature deaths annually.
  • Interdisciplinary research is key to analysing, monitoring and addressing climate-sensitive health risks and their impacts on the health sector. Integrating health and epidemiological data with climate and weather information can inform policies on climate-sensitive infectious diseases (such as malaria and dengue) and non-communicable diseases.
  • Increasing investments in climate-resilient, low-carbon health systems and progress towards universal health coverage is critical to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation (WMO and UN-Water)

  • Climate change is exacerbating water-related risks such as floods and drought. Changes in rainfall patterns, evaporation rates and water storage pose major challenges to sustainable water resource management.
  • More than 60% of countries have insufficient and deteriorating hydrological monitoring capabilities. However, scientific and technological advances, such as drones, artificial intelligence and space technology, provide opportunities for data-driven integrated water management practices and policies.
  • Greater scientific cooperation, financial investments and data and information sharing will be key to making informed decisions to accelerate the implementation of SDG 6.

Sustainable Development Goal 7 – Clean and Affordable Energy (Sustainable Energy for All)

  • Extreme weather events and climate change threaten the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 by changing energy supply and demand, making the transition to clean energy less predictable and potentially more expensive.
  • Providing more timely and accurate weather, climate and water data, science and services will lead to improved energy planning and operations. Big data and artificial intelligence offer the potential to enhance the operation of the energy system.
  • Challenges remain of variable and/or low data quality and limited availability and affordability of data and services.

Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities (WMO and UN-Habitat)

  • Cities account for about 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions and are home to more than half of the world’s population. It is vulnerable to rising sea levels, storm surges, heat waves, heavy rains, floods, droughts, water scarcity and air pollution.
  • Integrated urban services related to weather, climate, water and environment, based on the best available science, help cities achieve Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • High-resolution observations, forecast models and multi-hazard early warning systems form the fundamental basis for integrated urban services.

Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action (WMO, Green Climate Fund, UN Climate Change)

  • Climate change has caused widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere and biosphere, threatening to reverse progress made towards achieving all the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Weather, climate and water science supports ambitious climate action and climate finance mobilization, especially in low-income countries. A new global initiative for global greenhouse gas monitoring is being launched to support mitigation efforts.
  • Stakeholder engagement, through means such as citizen science, is vital.

Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life below water (UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission)

  • Climate-related impacts caused by human activity threaten our oceans, affecting marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them for food security and livelihoods.
  • Climate-related ocean science, such as observations of ocean acidification, enhances our understanding of climate impacts on the oceans and contributes to strategies for sustainable management and protection of marine ecosystems.
  • The United Nations Decade of Oceans for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030, (“The Oceans Decade”) provides an unprecedented opportunity to mobilize the scientific community and accelerate ocean science.

Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goals (WMO)

  • Half of countries report no multi-hazard early warning systems (MHEWSs), and where they exist, there are significant gaps in coverage.
  • Weather, climate and water science supports effective MHEWS systems by enhancing physical understanding of risks, increasing understanding of risks and associated impacts, and enabling risk detection, monitoring and prediction.
  • Partnerships between diverse stakeholders, including the weather, climate and water scientific communities, are essential to provide early warnings to all and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

(tags for translation) Oceans

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