Jul 11, 2019

Last Jul. 9, the United Nations took stock of the current trajectory of the its Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The results were pretty grim: While progress on some goals continue to be on track, many have stagnated or even regressed, particularly because of two factors. “The impacts of climate change and increasing inequality across and within countries are undermining progress on the sustainable development agenda, threatening to reverse many of the gains made over the last decades that have improved people’s lives,” the UN reported.

The good news: “49 percent fall in child mortality between 2000 and 2017 as well as electricity now reaching nearly 90 percent of the world’s population.” However, the UN points out that the former still means that over five million children under five-years-old have died of preventable deaths.

The depressing: Inequality is rising (the top one percent of the population are getting richer while the bottom 40 percent only get 25 percent of the world’s total income; over 55 percent of the world population don’t have even “minimum proficiency in reading and mathematics,” women only represent “39 percent of the workforce” and “27 percent managerial positions,” among many others); global hunger is rising after experiencing a long decline; the rate of poverty deduction is declining; and 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record, with “ocean acidity 26 percent higher than in pre-industrial times and projected to increase by 100 percent to 150 percent by 2100 at the current rate of CO2.”

Stacked together, it doesn’t spell well for our world’s future. “It is abundantly clear that a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed to unleash the social and economic transformation needed to achieve our 2030 goals,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

The report points out that “extreme weather conditions, more frequent and severe natural disasters and the collapse of ecosystems are causing increased food insecurity and are worsening people’s safety and health, forcing many communities to suffer from poverty, displacement and widening inequalities.” We previously wrote about how climate change is a racist and classist crisis, and this is pretty good proof of that.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin noted that “just as problems are interrelated, the solutions to poverty, inequality, climate change and other global challenges are also interlinked.”

You can check the 2019 global report here. We hope it’s going to leave you as infuriated and hungry for change as we are. Frankly, the world needs it.

 

Featured photo courtesy of Bob Blob on Unsplash

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