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Countdown to COP21
UN adopts Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
While world leaders prepare to address climate change at the Paris COP21 at the end of this year, international organizations are demonstrating a serious interest in promoting sustainable development and environmental awareness. Among these current initiatives is the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the last 15 years. The SDGs are comprised of 17 goals that will work together to achieve three ambitious things in the next 15 years: to end extreme poverty, to fight inequality and injustice, and to fix climate change. The last of these three things will give the Paris COP21 an additional foothold in the fight against climate change.
Several of the SDGs address the very things that Paris COP21 will attempt to tackle including goal 7, affordable and clean energy; goal 11, sustainable cities and communities; goal 12, responsible consumption and production; and goal 13-15, climate action, life below water, and life on land, respectively. Each of these SDGs is accompanied with an explanation of a specific target to be achieved by the year 2030. For example, goal 13, climate action, carries the goal of “implement(ing) the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible.”
The SDGs were adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, which took place from September 25-27 at the UN headquarters in New York. The SDGs were formally adopted by the United Nations 193 member states and will go into effect in January following the expiration of the UN MDGs. The SDGs will expire in the year 2030, hopefully following a great degree of success as the MDGs did.