3Cs are Compromising the success of Global Goals: SDGs

3Cs are Compromising the success of Global Goals: SDGs

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The disastrous convergence of three global crises is an assault on global efforts to achieve SDGs and meet the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. 3Cs are Conflicts, COVID19 and Climate-Change.

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In 2015, all the nations in the world agreed to meet the 17 goals called Sustainable Development Goals that are to be achieved by 2030. The world is presently standing almost at the mid-point between the start and finishing line. It is testing time. The latest United Nations Sustainable Development Goals report 2022 released on 7th July 2022 states that food and energy supplies, health, and education across countries are all adversely impacting the world.

The report reveals that we are moving backwards. The 3 Cs have pushed about 75-95 million people into extreme poverty in 2022 compared with pre-pandemic years. SDG blueprint for more resilient, peaceful and equal societies has now become a red-print.

Deaths directly related to COVID19 are recorded to be 6.5 million as of today but if one adds those indirectly related to COVID19, the total would be more than 15 million. The progress achieved so far has been wiped out in alleviating poverty SDG-1. Severe disruption in essential health services has derailed SDG3 – Good Health and Wellbeing. What’s more, some 147 million students have missed over half of their in-person education, thereby making progress on SDG 4-Quality education for all in question.

The impacts due to climate change (SDG) have been even more severe: Energy-related CO2 emissions rose by six per cent last year, reaching their highest level ever, completely wiping out pandemic-related declines and targets of SDG 7 and 13.
IPCC has warned that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, global greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 and then decline by 43 per cent by 2030, falling to net-zero by 2050. Instead, greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise nearly 14 per cent over the next decade.

Meanwhile, according to the report, the Ukraine war is creating one of the largest refugee crises of modern time. As of May, over 100 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes; some 11.5 million in Ukraine alone. And the crisis has caused 3F issues: food, fuel and fertilizer. Their prices have skyrocketed and supply chains and global trade have been disrupted. Food security (SDG-2) is jeopardized.

Where do we go from here? Do we continue to live this dejection for over a decade? Or do we rise again like Phoenix?

Youth studying and graduating from Universities provide a ray of hope that could become a lighthouse to show the way towards 2030. As per OECD globally, about 100-150 million new graduates would come out of universities by 2030. This means about 15 million youth per year. If these youth are skilled in the university campus to make them SDG-ready, we see the stream of rays coming from cracked-open windows of hope. Making the youth SDG-ready is the overall objective of Smart Campus Cloud Network -SCCN. (see sccnhub.com)

Learning by doing and Accelerating by sharing are the keys to making youth future-ready. SCCN promotes making the University campus a living laboratory for undertaking projects linked to SDGs and implementing, monitoring and assessing the impacts of the projects by deploying digital technologies like IoT, Blockchain and Cloud Networking. Equipped with hands-on experience on SDGs that includes climate change, a youth when out of campus, would be able to mainstream SDGs in their working ecosystem and business in the private sector or government sector.

Youth equipped with the tools of digital technologies has the potential to accelerate the journey toward SDGs and enhance action on climate and help to gain the lost time.

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