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TOP 10 Global Sustainability News | Sep 17-24, 2020

2020-09-26GoldenBeeGoldenBee0

Spotlight: Chinese President pledges carbon neutrality by 2060
 

 
On September 22, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China would increase its Nationally Determined Contributions by adopting new policies and measures, during his UN General Assembly address, declaring that China would aim to have emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
 
“China will continue to work as a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order”, he added, announcing a new injection of USD 50 million for the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan.
 
He also pledged USD 50 million to China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III) and announced an extension of the Peace and Development Trust Fund between the UN and China, by a further five years beyond 2025.

In addition, he announced the setting up of a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center, and an International Research Center of Big Data, for the SDGs, to help advance the overall 2030 agenda.
 
No.10 FAO launches Green Cities Initiative to help transform agri-food systems, end hunger and improve nutrition
 

 
 A community garden in New York City’s East Village | UN News
 
On September 18, FAO unveiled its new Green Cities Initiative and Action Plan to help transform agri-food systems, end hunger and improve nutrition in and around the cities in a post COVID-19 era. The launch took place at a high-level virtual event entitled "Green Cities to Build Back Better for SDGs – A New Powerful Venture" hosted by FAO during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
 
Highlighting the vast potential of cities in reducing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s health and food security and contributing to climate change mitigation, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu encouraged all partners to appreciate the essential role of cities in building back better and the urgency of innovative, comprehensive and coordinated actions.
 
FAO Green Cities Initiative aims to improve the livelihoods and well-being of urban and peri-urban populations in at least 100 cities (15 metropolitan, 40 intermediary and 45 small cities) around the world in the next three years, looking to have 1000 cities join by 2030.
 
NO.9 428 billion USD needed to connect humanity to the Internet by 2030




Connecting Humanity, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), September 17
 
Nearly 428 billion U.S. dollars is required to connect the remaining three billion people aged ten years and above to broadband Internet by 2030. Zhao Houlin, ITU Secretary-General, said that meeting the investment necessary to bring every person online by the end of this decade will require an unprecedented and connected effort from the public and private sectors.
 
Over 12 percent of the global unconnected population live in remote, rural locations where traditional networks are not easily accessible, most of them in Africa and South Asia. This connectivity gap is exacerbated by the gender digital divide as more men than women use the Internet across the globe.
 
No.8 Amazon launches new Climate Pledge Friendly program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products


 
On September 24, Amazon launched a new “Climate Fledge Friendly” label to encourage the manufactures to “make their products more sustainable”. From now on, more then 25,000 products across fashion, electronics, beauty, grocery, and household categories will be certified the Climate Pledge Friendly label.
 
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO said: “with 18 external certification programs and our own Compact by Design certification, we are incentivizing selling partners to create sustainable products that help protect the planet for future generations”. This new initiative is part of the business commitment, which was announced last year with the goal of making Amazon be net zero carbon by 2040.
 
No.7 WHO and UNICEF reach new framework to accelerate public health


 
A boy was taking health examination in Central Java, Indonesian | UNICEF Picture
 
On September 19, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF signed a new strategic collaboration framework, which prioritizes four strategic areas for immediate attention and action: universal health coverage, through a primary health care and health systems approach; mental health and psychosocial wellbeing and development; public health emergencies; and maternal and child nutrition. Additionally, the two organizations signed a new joint programme on Mental Health and Psychosocial Well-being and Development of Children and Adolescents. This 10-year collaborative effort will promote mental health and psychosocial well-being and development, increase access to care for mental health conditions, reduce suffering and enhance quality of life among children and adolescents, and their caregivers.
 
Today, WHO and UNICEF continue to work together to stop the COVID-19 pandemic and support countries to introduce and deliver COVID-19 vaccines. They are also working together to ensure that every woman and every child have access to the essential health services they need, including immunizations and health check-ups.
 
No.6 The United Nations announces 17 leaders for SDGs


 
On September 18, the United Nations recognized 17 young advocates for sustainable development, who are leading efforts to combat some of the world’s most pressing challenges and inspiring the younger generation for a better future for all. The young leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent diverse voices of youth from every region of the world, and are collectively responsible for activating millions of young people in support of the SDGs.
 
Aged between 18 and 29, they hail from across the globe – coming from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Ireland, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Turkey, Uganda, and the United States. The one from China is Liu Jichen, a Tsinghua University student and the Founder of Clear Plate, an app that rewards people for reducing food waste. After a meal, users take photos of their plate through the app, collect points once the image is recognized by the AI, and use them for charity program. Mr. Liu and his team spent a year developing this app.
 
No.5 Business leaders from more than 100 countries pledge support for multilateralism as the United Nations turns 75


 
On September 21, more than 1,000 Chief Executive Officers from companies in over 100 countries demonstrated their support for the United Nations and inclusive multilateralism by signing onto a powerful Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation.
 
The statement endorsed by CEOs states: “We, the business people, recognize that peace, justice and strong institutions are beneficial to the long-term viability of our organizations and are foundational for upholding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Now is our opportunity to learn from our collective experiences to realign behind the mission of the UN and steer our world onto a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable path. We are in this together – and we are united in this business of a better world.”
 
The CEO Statement also supports the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal 16: to promote peace, justice and strong institutions. Through the UN Global Compact’s Action Platform on Goal 16, interviews with 60 senior executives in June and July revealed that – alongside environmental and social issues – they believe good governance lies at the heart of good business.
 
No.4 UN: five major challenges in the world today


 
On September 22, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world is now facing five major challenges: geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust, the dark side of technology and the COVID-19 pandemic. Guterres said the world needed not only to stop “hot” conflicts, but also to avoid “a new cold war”. The world must address challenges together through a new social contract and improved global governance.
 
Guterres explained, the new social contract was proposed to combat xenophobia, discrimination and racism, establish a universal health insurance system, promote education equality and ensure women’s right. A sustainable new social contract means a transition to renewable energy to achieve carbon neutral by 2050.
 
No.3 Inaugural SDG Moment Event launched by UNSpotlight: Chinese President pledges carbon neutrality by 2060
 

Malala Yousafzai, UN Messenger of Peace and Nobel Laureate (on screen), delivers remarks at the first virtual Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Moment of the Decade of Action
 
The Global Goals represent the future for millions of girls who want education, women who fight for equality, and youth fighting for clean air, UN Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai said on September 18.

“This June, I graduated in the midst of a reeling world – one many of us could not have predicted”. The young Nobel Laureate recalled that five years ago Member States signed onto the SDGs, but, “so far, you have not kept up with your work”, she declared. Ms. Yousafzai requested that those gathered “set the norms” of a new sustainable, healthy, educated and equitable era.
 
No.2 EU targets 55% reduction in emissions by 2030


 
On September 17, European Commission presented its plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The EU is already aiming for a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030, a target which it is on track to exceed, according to the Commission.
 
The Commission stated that the target is practical and feasible with comprehensive assessment considering social, economic and environmental factors. The new goal is to give EU global leadership in tacking climate change while achieving “carbon-neutrality” by 2050.

No.1 China releases Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China for the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity
 
As the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity is to be held on September 30, the ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment jointly released China’s position paper Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth: China in Action on September 21, elaborating on China’s experience, progress, position and propositions on biodiversity conservation from the perspectives including philosophy of ecological civilization, domestic policy measures, promoting sustainable development, engagement of the entire society, global biodiversity governance, international exchanges and cooperation .
 
As stated in the position paper, China will remain committed to pursuing ecological protection and green development. China will continue to hold high the banner of multilateralism and is committed to the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. China will actively participate in global biodiversity governance and contribute China’s wisdom to global ecological civilization and to a shared future for all life on Earth. As the host of the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), China will make good preparations for it and stands ready to work together with other countries for an ambitious, balanced and realistic framework and a clean, beautiful world thriving with life.
 
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