The pact between humans and the planet: reducing harmful emissions and decreasing pollution.
We only have one planet, but we’re living as if we had almost two available to us. This is why sustainable development has to be more than just a catchphrase and must be turned into concrete commitment.
Sustainable development is a choice that allows for no second thoughts. It must be shared and is of dramatic urgency:
The SDGs have been shared by all the Member States of the United Nations: a sign of strong global awareness.
Sustainable development is the only way to safeguard biodiversity and ensure the survival of endangered animal species.
The increase in global population and the resulting demand for resources is irreversible: only sustainable development can ensure the correct balance.
Using the approaches of the circular economy is key to addressing the issues of resource scarcity, global warming and waste management.
On 29 July 2019, humanity used up the annual budget of resources that the Earth can regenerate – more than 5 months before the end of the year. That day is called Earth Overshoot Day and it has not fallen on 31 December since 1971. Every year it comes earlier and earlier.
Consuming all the resources Earth can regenerate annually early means that all the demands necessary for human survival, from Overshoot Day on, can only be met by drawing on non-renewable reserves of soil, forests, timber, livestock, and fishing. Or by putting more damaging emissions into the atmosphere.
Today, we are living as if we had 1.75 planets available to us, on average. To ensure sustainable development, we need to start moving Overshoot Day five days later every year. If we do that, we’ll get to consuming the Earth’s resources sustainably before 2050. How can we do this? Just think – simply by halving CO2 emissions from conventional fuels, the resource end date would jump forward by 93 days.