In yet another call to accelerate ‘transformative action’ a new UN conference in Copenhagen saw 400 delegates meet in April 2019.
‘With the urgency of climate action at an all-time high, global experts and leaders meeting in Copenhagen identified key immediate action areas to better serve both the world’s efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure better lives for all people…. the outcome document, will inform the in-depth review of SDG 13 on climate action at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in New York in July’
Here is the UNFCCC press release which contains the following appeal:
Speaking on behalf of the UN Climate Change secretariat, Deputy Executive Secretary, Ovais Sarmad, said: “Climate change is a threat multiplier. If we don’t act urgently and with more ambition, it will destabilize the global economy, create conflict, displacement and cause incredible suffering for people everywhere. But climate change also provides our single greatest opportunity to build a safer, healthier, more resilient and prosperous world and by further linking the climate and SDGs process, we can drive transformative action at all levels.”
Despite the obvious good intentions of both the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) I have real difficulty in not seeing ‘sustainable development’ as an oxymoron as long as development is understood as conventional economic growth or even ‘green growth’ on the continuum above which require evermore degeneration of available energy and materials derived from the overloaded natural world. The planet is now in need of regeneration and restoration of the disrupted natural systems, including the atmosphere, that humans need to support civilisation into the future. This means using less, not more, of the gifts of nature and the geosphere. If development is to be sustained, then diminishing human impact is the only form of ‘development’ that will aid restoration and regeneration of Spaceship Earth.