Tackling Global Climate Disruption and Ending Poverty
The UN Sustainable Development Summit must build a bridge towards an ambitious climate agreement in Paris
The causes and consequences of climate change reflect one of the world’s greatest inequalities. Billions of people living in poverty already bear the brunt of the worst climate impacts, although they are the least responsible for causing climate change. This is an extreme global injustice. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be signed off at the UN summit in New York in September 2015, constitute a commitment by all states to tackle in the next 15 years some of the biggest problems of our time – poverty, injustice and climate change. These universal goals clearly acknowledge that such interdependent crises cannot be dealt with in isolation and they are profoundly linked, requiring integrated and systemic solutions.
Over 100 heads of state and governments will meet in New York, 25-27 September, to adopt the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the SDGs. The necessity to tackle climate change is clearly highlighted in the goals and targets. This commitment must be followed with an equitable and ambitious climate agreement at the UN climate conference (United Nations Conference of Parties, COP21) in Paris, 30 November-11 December. Governments must take bold action to provide hope for those living on the frontlines of climate change and shift course towards a safer, just and environmentally sustainable future.