Dr Linda Haj Omar
In this week’s article, I aim to touch on SDG13, which urges all of us to take action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Climate change is real and has proved to be disruptive not only to our continent but also all over the world. National economies world-wide have been affected which in turn has impacted some lives permanently.
Regionally, here in Zimbabwe, we have had our fair share of these disruptions in the past with Cyclone Idai and now Cyclone Freddy promising to affect even more lives not only locally but regionally.
Efforts to combat Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities which are driving climate change and continuing to rise have not be enough to mitigate against the impact of climate change. Historically, Greenhouse gas emissions are now at their highest levels.
Importance of SDGs to Africa
According United Nations estimates, SDGs represent tremendous investment opportunities, and they could open $12 trillion in market opportunities and 380 million jobs by 2030. For Africa, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) provides a unique opportunity to implement the SDGs and Agenda 2063.
Advantages of SDGs
SDG13, like all SDGs, have proved that when societies embrace them, they can help strengthen community bonds, improve quality of life and provide hope for a better future by creating a spirit of oneness. The benefits environmentally are unmeasurable, as sustainable practices are reported to can help protect natural resources, mitigate and adapt to climate change and promote biodiversity.
Importance of SDG13 for businesses
Businesses as institutions are better placed as leaders in advocating and pushing for actions to advancing Goal 13. Through their collective efforts, they can build building resilience to environmental hazards and address shortages of resources, food, and water in their areas of operations and enhance supply chains for the betterment of the communities in which they operate. The net result is, they in turn have access to a healthy and well-fed work force.
Achieving SDG13 climate action
To achieve the (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1,5°C above pre-industrial levels, the world must transform its energy, industry, transport, food, agriculture and forestry systems to ensure that.
In the preamble to the 2030 Agenda, world leaders affirmed that they are: “Determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present.
Renewable energy, the key to addressing climate change
Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale. It includes sources such as sunlight, wind, the movement of water and geothermal heat. Although most renewable energy sources are sustainable, but some are not. For example, some biomass sources are considered unsustainable at current rate of exploitation.
Renewable energy often provides energy for electricity generation to a grid, air and water heating/cooling and stand-alone power systems.
Renewable energy technology projects are typically large-scale, but they are also suited to rural and remote areas and developing countries, where energy is often crucial in human development.
Renewable energy is often deployed together with further electrification, which has several benefits. Electricity can move objects efficiently and is clean at the point of consumption. In addition, electrification with renewable energy is more efficient.
To achieve the SGD13 objectives as set out by UN, it will take collective effort, with everyone playing their part from village level to multinational corporations including Governments.
The full impact of climate change globally, even at community level is all there for all to see. At Medlico will endeavour to play our part in the fulfilment of the SDG13 objectives by providing concerned bodies with well researched information to our best abilities. Let us all strive to leave this earth better than we found it for the sake of our future generation.
Dr Linda Haj Omar is the CEO of Medlico Research & Training Centre. For more information/Enquiries: Visit: 4 Lanark Belgravia, Harare — Zimbabwe Tel: (+263) 242 702326/7, WhatsApp: +263 777 553011, Email: [email protected]