Sustainability of development is comparatively a new area of knowledge in which scientists, economists, philosophers and other social scientists are working together. The raising awareness about climate change and events happening because it has caused many people including school children to demand bolder actions on climate change by governments, businesses and investors.
In order to holistically improve the climate situation, UN Environment has suggested seven areas to focus on.
Agriculture and Food
According to the UN Environment’s Emissions Gap Report 2018, food systems from production to consumption have the potential to mitigate up to 6.7 giga-tons of CO2 equivalent, which is second only to the energy sector. There is a need for global food transformation in the next 12 years in which food waste is halved and diets and health are improved through decreased animal protein intake. Apart from that, the entities also need to incentivize climate-smart and sustainable agriculture and end the current unjust food situation in which over 820 million people are undernourished.
Buildings and Cities
Buildings and construction account for about 70 per cent of total energy use globally. It is in fact responsible for 39 per cent of energy-related carbon emissions. Tremendous amounts of urban infrastructure are to be built in the coming 15 years. There are huge opportunities to retrofit existing buildings, improve building standards, and rethink urban planning such as by providing incentives for mini-grid solutions.
In order to ensure economic, social and political inclusion to leave no one behind, it is imperative to educate more women. This is because educated women have fewer and healthier children.
According to UN Environment’s Emissions Gap Report, 2018, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries could significantly cut emissions by 2020 if industrialized nations made good on their pledge to mobilize US$100 billion a year of climate funding. Thus, businesses need to step in to help poor countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Forest and Land use
The only way to reverse climate change is by increasing the forest cover. Despite knowing this, we are not only not putting efforts to increase it, but are actually reducing it. It is highly imperative to protect and conserve the forests in order to boost carbon capture with associated benefits for biodiversity, food security, livelihoods and rural economies.
Transport is responsible for about one-quarter of all energy-related CO2 emissions and set to increase to one-third by 2050, growing faster than any other sector. There is a need to achieve significant emission reductions with the right policies and incentives. While the government of India has taken significant step by prioritizing policies that are helping to shift freight transport from road to rail, there is a need to put in place vehicle efficiency standards, incentives for zero-emission transportation and invest in non-motorized mobility to promote sustainable commute in public as well as private transport systems.
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The CSR Journal Team