OP-ED: How are we going to achieve the UN’s 2030 SDGs and stop climate change?

The deadline is fast approaching, but new questions arise in this pandemic period

The United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) will be held in November in Glasgow, UK. Progress towards the Paris Agreement will be reviewed and new commitments will need to be made to limit global warming to the safe 1.5 degree limit, now widely accepted as the level at which a major environmental disaster can be avoided.

Recent fires, floods, earthquakes, and other extreme environmental events are a testament to how dangerously close we are to climatic tipping points in the Earth’s natural ecological balance. We are entering a race to save humanity from extinction.

How will developing countries simultaneously meet the challenges of poverty reduction and decarbonization? This question underpins the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) which were to be achieved by 2030.

Although the deadline is fast approaching, many new questions have arisen. How has the recent decline in international aid funding affected our chances of achieving these goals? Has the pandemic derailed our momentum to tackle the climate crisis?

A new event, Development2030 (www.development2030.com), is launched to allow the international development community to discuss and find answers to questions regarding the UN’s 2030 SDGs. It will be launched at Brussels Expo the week following COP26, alongside the 10th anniversary of AidEx, the world’s largest gathering of professionals in the aid and humanitarian aid sector.

In line with the widely accepted fact that the private sector will play a crucial role in achieving these goals and mitigating the effects of climate change, Development2030 will include a conference addressing issues relating to the United Nations SDGs with keynote speakers and panelists from all over the world. sectors, ranging from UN agencies, governments, NGOs, as well as the private sector, philanthropic foundations and think tanks.

There will also be an exhibit that will showcase technology and innovation leadership initiatives that support the United Nations SDGs. The main players in the business sector as well as NGOs and other players in this space will be invited to meet and network for the first time since the pandemic, to develop new partnerships and initiatives online with the UNSDG issue 17, which is all about partnerships. and how we will work together to achieve the other 16 goals.

As part of its additional efforts to support the corporate sector, Development2030 will also launch two new awards focused on sustainability initiatives and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. The Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year Award will recognize international private companies that successfully implement initiatives that contribute to societal objectives of a philanthropic or charitable nature with ethical practices.

The Sustainable Initiative of the Year award aims to recognize the best example of a green strategy – how working in an environment-focused context should not sacrifice economic productivity and growth.

Development2030 will also host a series of high-level webinars to build momentum for a global discussion on the issues discussed at the event. The first webinar in this series was hosted by Montgomery Group on September 3 and moderated by Heroes for All, a New York-based NGO.

The session discussed how Bangladesh is on track to meet the United Nations SDGs and the impact of the pandemic on its progress in achieving UNSDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), UNSDG 9 (infrastructure and innovation) and UNSDG 10 (reducing inequalities) and discussed some approaches to find solutions.

It is hoped that the government of Bangladesh as well as NGOs from Bangladesh will participate in Development2030 in Brussels to ensure that urgent action is taken to address the challenges of sustainable development.

Romel Ahmed works at the Montgomery Group, organizer of the AidEx and Development2030 conferences.

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