The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the German Development Institute have come up with a new strategy that serves the cause of both, the climate action plan and policies for development, food and energy access, global and national equity, and environmental sustainability.
PIK scientist Björn Soergel, lead author of the study published in Nature Climate Change said, “Climate policies are crucial, but on their own, they will not be sufficient to achieve the transformation towards a sustainable and prosperous world for all – a vision that policymakers committed to by adopting the Paris Agreement and the SDGs in 2015.
Not even one of the 17 SDGs will be met until 2030 if the world continues along the current trajectory. And this was even the case prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the good news is: We also have the means to change this.”
The scientists have suggested a “Sustainable Development Pathway” which would be a shield against the ill impact of climate change and would also help to achieve the SDGs such as no poverty and zero hunger, climate action, and other environmental goals by 2030 as planned.
Along with encouraging the climate policies which merges with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Pathway consists of some other suggestions as well including healthy nutrition, international climate finance, and a pro-poor redistribution of carbon pricing revenues.
“These are some of the levers to make real progress towards the SDGs by 2030 and to continue along this track until 2050 and beyond.
They allow us to reconcile a decent living for everyone with respecting the ecological boundaries of our planet,” said Soergel.
The study says that the limited timeline of achieving the SDGs and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement together by 2030 has put a risk of being not able to fulfill it, as the progress of the targets has been so steady.
Hence the “synergies between climate action and other SDGs” are important to take note of and use to accomplish the targets together.
Talking about another important aspect, PIK scientist and co-author Isabelle Weindl explained the benefits of a planetary diet and the reduction of the animal diet.
“A change in our dietary habits towards less animal protein, as in the ‘Planetary Health’ diet recommended by an expert commission, proves to have far-reaching positive effects.
The ‘Planetary Health’ diet is nutritionally balanced and contains only modest amounts of animal-source food, and is thus much healthier than the average diet in industrialized countries.
In addition, food production would require a lot less land, water, and fertilizer, and would generate fewer greenhouse gases, compared to diets with a high share of meat or dairy.
Changing our dietary habits thus helps to protect the climate and our ecosystems,” she said.
Moreover, the study also suggests that a little adjustment of the high-income countries in energy usage could help the low-income countries to balance the energy consumption for decent living standards and infrastructure build-up, wrote the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in its release.