Category: SDG Goals

Police arrests more than 50 people at Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

Environmental activists took to the streets of central London for Extinction Rebellion’s fifth mass protest, targeting the “root cause” of the climate and nature crises.

Protesters blocked roads in central London, including around Trafalgar Square, as they demanded the government immediately end investment in fossil fuels.

Activists also set up a large pink structure at the junction of Long Acre and Upper St Martin’s Lane with the words “come to the table” written across it to highlight the right everyone has to have a say in how to tackle the crisis.

The group has planned two weeks of action in the capital of England.

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United Nations: Heavy rains and flooding push Yemenis to the brink.

Heavy rains and flooding in Yemen have affected at least 28,000 people, according to initial estimates released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday.

In its daily noon briefingOCHA said that humanitarian partners on the ground are conducting assessments and providing assistance, which included food, shelter and healthcare

Meanwhile, more than half of Yemenis are facing crisis levels of food insecurity, and five million people are just one step away from famine.   

As the value of the Yemeni rial continues to plummet – trading at over 1,000 rials to the dollar in some areas – more and more Yemenis are being pushed to the brink.   

As the coronavirus spreads across the world, no country seems more vulnerable than Yemen, now in its sixth year of war.

Against the backdrop of conflict, dire humanitarian needs and the threat of famine, COVID-19 cases have increased over recent days, with many concerned that the country is entering a third wave.  

“So far, just over 310,000 vaccines have been administered – meaning that only one per cent of the population has got their first dose”, the UN body said.  

While donors have stepped up their support to the aid operation, the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan is currently just 47 per cent funded, meaning that out of the $3.85 billion required, only $1.82 billion has been received.  

Amidst OCHA’s warning that “most of this money will run out in September”, the UN humanitarian body stressed that “additional and predictable funding” is urgently needed so that people can continue receiving the lifesaving assistance they need, according UN News.

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United Nations chief: no pathway to reach the Paris Agreement’s 1.5˚C goal without the G20.

“The world urgently needs a clear and unambiguous commitment to the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement from all G20 nations”, António Guterres said on Sunday after the Group failed to agree on the wording of key climate change commitments during their recent Ministerial Meeting on Environment, Climate and Energy.

“There is no pathway to this goal without the leadership of the G20.

This signal is desperately needed by the billions of people already on the frontlines of the climate crisis and by markets, investors and industry who require certainty that a net zero climate resilient future is inevitable”, the UN Secretary General urged in a statement.

The UN chief reminded that science indicates that to meet that ‘ambitious, yet achievable goal’, the world must achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 and cut dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by 45 % by 2030 from 2010 levels. “But we are way off track”, he warned.

The world needs the G20 to deliver

With less than 100 days left before the 2021 United Nations Climate Conference COP 26, a pivotal meeting that will be held in Glasgow at the end of October, António Guterres urged all G20 and other leaders to commit to net zero by mid-century, present more ambitious 2030 national climate plans and deliver on concrete policies and actions aligned with a net zero future.

These include no new coal after 2021, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and agreeing to a minimum international carbon pricing floor as proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The G7 and other developed countries must also deliver on a credible solidarity package of support for developing countries including meeting the US$100 billion goal, increasing adaptation and resilience support to at least 50% of total climate finance and getting public and multilateral development banks to significantly align their climate portfolios to meet the needs of developing countries”, he highlighted.

The UN Chief informed that he intends to use the opportunity of the upcoming UN General Assembly high-level session to bring leaders together to reach a political understanding on these critical elements of the ‘package’ needed for Glasgow.

The G20 ministers, which met in Naples, Italy on July 23-25, couldn’t agree to a common language on two disputed issues related to phasing out coal and the 1.5-degree goal, which now will have to be discussed at the G20 summit in Rome in October, just one day before the COP 26 starts, according UN News.

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‘Deeply negative impact’ of COVID pandemic, reverses Sustainable Development Goals progress.

Closing a key international development forum on Thursday, the deputy UN chief Amina Mohammed observed that a year of “immense challenges” has reversed progress on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

After eight “solid days” of deliberations at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), Amina Mohammed attributed the COVID pandemic to “a reversal of SDG progress in some areas, and delayed action on many of the major transitions required to meet our 2030 goals”. 

She said the pandemic has had a “deeply negative impact” on health and well-being; employment, businesses, incomes, education; and human rights, with “a particularly damaging effect on women and girls”. 

Throughout the Forum, according UN News: during which nine Global Goals and 47 Voluntary National Review outcomes were examined in depth, many participants observed that some of the measures put in place during the pandemic could provide a foundation for SDG progress

Global Goals

Ms. Mohammed gave the examples of digital learning, which could help to transform education more broadly, along with building on critical fiscal support many countries had provided to their economy, jobs and people.   

“Governments should now consider whether some of these measures can be integrated into comprehensive social protection systems”, said the UN official. 

Recovery efforts can be designed both to restart economies and accelerate SDG implementation.  

Ms. Mohammed said that stimulus packages and Special Drawing Rights for foreign exchange reserves, can be leveraged to advance gender equality, boost investment in education, health and social protection.

They could also be used to accelerate climate change mitigation and generate decent jobs.   

But there can be no pandemic recovery without “international solidarity and cooperation”, including through climate finance and financing for development, she added.   

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