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Early-warning systems protecting more lives

The UN has reported on statistics which show that although extreme weather events are becoming more frequent in our global heating crisis, and although this means growing economic losses, deaths are actually reducing. With better early warning systems making information available earlier to more places, plus more countries having implemented disaster management planning, deaths have reduced globally from 50,000+ per year in the 1970s to less than 20,000 today. As climatic disasters make up over half of all natural disasters, 45% of deaths and 75% of costs, they are a major area for us to work towards mitigating and yet another reason why we should be working to stop global heating. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Geo-tech coming online at pace

Climeworks has announced the opening of their latest carbon capture facility. It is called Orca and is located in Iceland. The geo-tech will extract 4000 tons of carbon dioxide per year which is the largest in the world so far. The plant mineralises the gas which can then be stored underground (where is most probably came from). Follow the link to see the timeline reporting of its build and launch. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Fossil fuels have to wind down, now

A new report has come out which has calculated how much fossil fuel needs to stay in the ground in order for us to have a chance of hitting emissions reduction targets. Unsurprisingly to anyone who has studied the climate crisis, the analysis shows that the vast majority of fossil fuels, must remain unextracted if the Paris targets are to remain possible. Of course there are many other factors to global heating, especially deforestation for agriculture, which is why this report is so shocking. Keeping 90% of coal and about 60% of oil and gas in the ground is necessary only to have a 50% chance of slowing the process down. For SDG students, it is also important to note the report does not call for all fossil fuel extraction to stop immediately which recognises the immense complexity of our energy needs, supply capacities, business needs, job prospects and so on which all have to be balanced against the environment. You can see a summary in The Guardian.   . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

CERN is 13 and considering the environment

The large hadron collider at CERN was started up on 10th September 2008. In 2021, CERN has focused on a year of environmental awareness. They are focusing on emissions, energy, waste, water and radiation from the facility and providing a good example of how we can balance our need for activities (such as advancing scientific knowledge) with an awareness of their impacts and most importantly concrete action to minimize or eliminate those impacts.   . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Literacy Day

Today is International Literacy Day 2021. There are over 750 million non-literate young people and adults which is why SDG 4, Target 6 is “By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy”. Not being literate broadly means you have not had access to at least a full, quality primary schooling. The 2030 Agenda seeks to get everyone through not just primary but secondary education as well. There are many legacy issues surrounding more elderly people who never had schooling opportunities back in the 20th century, as well as more modern problems around equality. Gender discrimination is still a problem in achieving literacy for all. Since 2020, Covid has also caused huge disruption and the most vulnerable have suffered the most. Literacy is essential for fair treatment of individuals as well as the foundation of prosperous societies which benefit all their members. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Healthy Air, Healthy Planet

We couldn’t agree more that the theme of this year’s International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on 7th September should be themed Healthy Air, Healthy Planet. The day draws our focus to two of the main issues around air quality – particulate pollution and climate impact. Air pollution is one of the greatest threats to species in general and to humanity specifically. Billions of years of life are lost and billions more in healthspan due to the adverse impacts of dirty air. And the climate change impacts are even more widespread and impact even in places with good air quality. Clean air is integral to achieving the 2030 Agenda as it is part and parcel of achieving targets in SDGs 3, 5, 11, 13 and 15. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Day of Charity on 5th September

The International Day of Charity was adopted by the UN in 2012. It recognises that charitable work and activity has value in its own right, bringing people together in communities of support, but also has a valuable role to play in the 1st SDG - No poverty. As the 2030 Agenda strives towards eradicating all poverty within its framework of the 5 Ps - people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership - we can see how charity can have an important place in the world and this day helps to consolidate something humans have recognised for thousands of years and also to help mobilise people who can get distracted in their busy lives. 5th Sept was adopted in recognition of Mother Teresa who dies this day in 1997 after a life dedicated to helping others. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The latest HLPF took place in July 2021. The dominant issue this year is of course the covid pandemic and for the HLPF the key questions arising over the pandemic’s impact on the 2030 Agenda. There are many elements to the forum and many areas for study but this is en excellent article taking a specific look at the HLPF outcomes from a feminist perspective. It is very thought-provoking and has many good points which ultimately highlight the really difficult barriers to implementing SDGs 5 & 10 as a primary focus and then all the other SDGs due to their intersectionality with gender equality (or lack of it). . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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