A new multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on Thursday, September 14, 2023, revealed that climate change is undermining the global efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The document, christened “United in Science Report”, said that, at this half-time point of the 2030 agenda, that science is clear that the planet is far off track from meeting its climate goals.
“This undermines global efforts to tackle hunger, poverty and ill-health, improves access to clean water and energy and many other aspects of sustainable development.
“Only 15 per cent of the SDGs are on track,” said the report, which makes a systematic examination of the impact of climate change and extreme weather on the goals.
The study illustrates how weather, climate and water-related sciences could advance aims, such as food and water security, clean energy, better health, sustainable oceans and resilient cities.
The annual report combines input and expertise from 18 organisations and issued ahead of the SDG Summit and Climate Ambition Summit at the United Nations General Assembly.
In his comment, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said” “2023 has shown all too clearly that climate change is here.
“Record temperatures are scorching the land and heating the sea, as extreme weather causes havoc around the globe.
“While we know this is just the beginning, the global response is falling far short.
Meanwhile, halfway to the 2030 deadline for the SDGs, the world is woefully off-track.”
Guterres, however, argued that science is central to solutions.
“It is widely understood that weather, climate and water-related sciences provide the underpinnings for climate action.
“But it is less recognised how these sciences can supercharge progress on the SDGs across the board,” said the UN chief scribe.
Similarly, the WMO Secretary-General, Prof. Petteri Taalas, was optimistic that at the pivotal moment in history, the halfway mark to achieving the SDGs, the science community stands united in the effort to achieve prosperity for people and the planet.
“Groundbreaking scientific and technological advances, such as high-resolution climate modelling, artificial intelligence and nowcasting, can catalyse transformation to achieve the SDGs.
“And achieving Early Warnings for All by 2027 will not only save lives and livelihoods but help safeguard sustainable development,” Taalas said.
He said, however, that the need for science and solutions was more urgent now than ever.
By Usman Aliyu