The UN Secretary General has released a report updating progress made towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicator framework since 2015, as the world reaches the halfway point towards 2030.
Unfortunately, the report paints a bleak picture, with only about 12 percent of the roughly 140 targets with data on track, close to half moderately or severely off track, and some 30 percent showing no movement or regression below the 2015 baseline. This lack of progress is universal, but it disproportionately affects developing countries and the world's poorest and most vulnerable people due to historical global injustices.
The UN is sounding the alarm
Carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, and renewables are projected to remain a small fraction of our energy supply in 2030, despite a small window of opportunity to limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees and prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis. The report urges global Heads of State and Government to recommit to seven years of accelerated, sustained, and transformative action, both nationally and internationally, to deliver on the promise of the SDGs.
The report also highlights progress made in key areas such as energy and internet access and suggests that the transformation demanded by the SDGs is one of immense opportunity. However, failure to address the SDGs' triple planetary crisis (climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss) could fuel greater political instability, displacement, and irreversible environmental changes that cause immense suffering for current and future generations, especially among the world's poorest and most vulnerable people and countries.
The report concludes that the lack of progress is cause for alarm and that it is time to redouble efforts to eliminate poverty and hunger, advance gender equality, and overcome the triple planetary crisis. It calls on global leaders to embrace the UN's Climate Acceleration Agenda to drive a just renewables revolution and secure climate justice for those on the frontlines of the climate crisis.