If you have not heard of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is an agenda set out by the United Nations as a plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity. The goals and targets that they set out will inspire action over the next fifteen years in areas that are of critical importance for humanity and the planet.
As part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development there are a collection of 17 interlinked sustainable goals that have been set out to re-affirm the commitment by the world to sustainable development. They are designed to be a ‘blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all’. These 17 sustainable development goals also provide a framework for Covid-19 recovery and recognise that ending poverty must work alongside a range of other strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, job opportunities whilst also tackling climate change and environmental protection.
Despite these 17 sustainable goals and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development being set out, the main question is, are we doing enough globally and will they be enough to allow future generations to live a sustainable life. We spoke to Dutch environmentalist Alexander Verbeek recently as part of our Swan TV series, to discuss a range of topics including climate change, sustainability and if we are doing enough collectively. The main message that he gave and something that he spoke about was that together we are not doing enough. If you look at the world as whole, everything is growing, including the population. As a species, we are consuming more and more every year, and depleting the natural resources on this planet. This is something that has always been prominent in most people’s minds and something that we are taught from an early age, especially focusing on how much of our rainforests are being cut down every day to make way for resources for humans. This constant neglect for our plant needs to stop, we are reaching the limits of growth and without change we will see ourselves in a dire situation in the next decade.
Biodiversity is one of the most complex features on our planet and not only refers to the variety of life and how life interplays with the physical environment, but without it, there is no future for humanity. Only last week, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres has said that “humanity is waging a war on nature, threatening biodiversity, loss, climate disruption and escalating pollution”. Nature is one of the most beautiful things on our planet and not only sustains life, but also provides solutions. Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented and alarming rate and the world has failed to meet any of its internationally agreed biodiversity targets. The world is depleting resources faster than nature can replenish them which sets a worrying image of the future for our future generations.
We are all aware that climate change is a serious threat to our planet and something that we need to address urgently. There are lots of changes you can make or things you can do personally to try to live a more sustainable life. One of the things that Alexander mentions is something as simple as eating less meat, even by having a ‘meatless Monday’ will decrease the levels of human consumption of meat globally which in turn will have a positive impact.
If you are looking for things you can do within your home or business to be more energy efficient there are plenty of energy efficient measures that you can undertake which will be positive not only for the planet, but it could also reduce your energy bills. Simple things such as turning off the lights and equipment when you are not using them or using available sunlight to illuminate your workspace rather than using the main lights. You could cycle or walk into work and unplug chargers when they are not in use! Make sure that you go paperless wherever possible and recycle and re-use.
There has been a lot of focus on renewable energy and the need to switch to green energy suppliers in the past few years, with more people looking to make this move. This has been highlighted more recently with the UKs ambitious target to be Net Zero by 2050 and cut greenhouse gas emissions to at least 100% below 1990 levels by 2050. Many businesses now focusing on this and pledging to be carbon neutral sooner. The Paris Agreement set an ambitious goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy such as solar, wind as well as electric vehicles (EVS) will be crucial to us hitting this target.
If you would like to find out how you can make the switch the renewable energy or green energy suppliers, contact us today to speak to one of our friendly swans.