New Years Eve: Let's change 20 to 21!
Updated: Jan 27
It is time to set goals and prepare for the next year. After a year full of remarkable events, such as the crisis generated by Covid-19, the worsening of global warming, social and economic problems worldwide, it became clear how people live and consume is unsustainable. The year 2021 begs for changes as marked as the crises that occurred in 2020. More than that, the year 2021 can be the beginning of a new period in our society, bringing more awareness, empathy, and balance to the world.
• End of the United Nations Biodiversity Decade In 2020, the Decade of Biodiversity, created by the United Nations (UN) to protect the planet's species, will end. However, among the defined goals, it can be said that very few or none have been achieved according to the Decade's final balance released by the entity in September this year. • Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Despite the countless economic and social problems that the pandemic has caused globally, it has had a significant impact on reducing air pollution. According to the researchers' calculations, 8.8% drop in carbon dioxide emissions in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2019. The reduction is more significant than registered in previous economic crises or the Second World War. • Extremes Weather Events Extreme weather events have increased in frequency, intensity, and severity. The year 2020 was marked by significant fires worldwide, the largest being those in Siberia, Australia, Brazil, and Indonesia. The increase in climate-related disasters shows that it is necessary to increase investment in reducing climate risks. One of the alternatives to solve this issue is to improve access to risk information and improve multi-risk early warning systems. We have a big challenge ahead of us. We already know that extreme weather events are becoming more and more frequent, the average annual temperatures on the planet are rising, and deforestation continues to increase. But there is still time to change - science shows us the causes and the possible solutions to work on actions with the potential to mitigate or reduce impacts. • Covid-19 Pandemic and Sustainability Covid-19 caused one of the biggest crises in human history, but the pandemic provides a unique opportunity to transform our polluted economy towards a green economy by adopting renewable energy sources and green practices in our businesses.
• COP 26 and COP 15
In 2021, crucial events related to the environment, within the UN's scope, will take place as a way of uniting countries around a sustainable future. The exciting United Nations plan is one of the leading causes of this positivity in the next decade. Besides that, two important events will took place in 2021. Since the event for 2020 was postponed due to the Covid-19 crises, the COP 26 will happen in 2021. COP26 is widely regarded to be the most important UN climate conference since the Paris Agreement. The holdings of the Biodiversity COP 15 in Kunming, China, will develop measures to follow the new Global Biodiversity Strategy for the period from 2021 to 2050.
• Beginning of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and the United Nations Decade of Health Ageing The end of the Biodiversity Decade in 2020 takes us to new UN decades projects. In 2021, the UN will start three major projects to be finished in the year 2030. First, the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which aims to join efforts of all sectors related to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and create better conditions for achieving sustainable development. The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims to restore degraded and destroyed ecosystems, contributing to efforts to combat climate change and safeguard biodiversity, food security, and water supply. Finally, the United Nations Decade of Health Ageing seeks to move efforts to improve older people's lives.
• Intensification of the Green Economy The current year has been marked by companies' increasingly emphatic positions in protecting and conserving the environment and growing awareness of society about the environmental impacts of economic businesses. Another factor moving in this direction is the adoption and strengthening of good ecological, social, and governance (ESG) practices by corporations, which has led large investors to take this into account when choosing the businesses that will receive resources. • Energy Transition Even in the face of the pandemic, the Renewable Energy segment remained high in 2020, and for 2021 it has higher expectations for growth. Concisely, we can only achieve a successful energy transition by adopting and implementing technologies already commercially available that improve the efficiency, affordability, and reliability of energy systems.
References Benato, M. (2020, 12 22). The Guardian: Environment . Retrieved from The Guardian Duarte, C. M. (2019, 07 31). Frontiers in Marine Science. Retrieved from Frontiers in Marine Science Dunne, D. (2020, 07 14). Carbon Brief . Retrieved from Carbon Brief Folk, E. (2020, 02 12). Earth . Retrieved from Earth Presse, F. (2020, 04 02). G1. Retrieved from Globo Research, P. I. (2020, 10 14). Science News. Retrieved from Science Daily Unesco. (2017 ). Unesco. Retrieved from United Nations Biodiversity Decade