The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by United Nations member states in 2015, are a universal call to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people live in peace and prosperity by 2030. Geeta Morar, senior analyst in the environmental team at the National Business Initiative (NBI), shares how the organisation supports member companies to enhance their understanding of, and participation in, implementing the SDG agenda.
In the first half of 2019, 950 climate-related disasters had already been recorded in 102 countries and territories and nearly 11 million people had been displaced, seven million displacements of which were caused by natural disasters mainly in Africa and Asia. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre says that this was the highest number of climate-related displacements ever reported and investment bank Morgan Stanley estimates that climate-related natural disasters have cost the world close to $650 billion over the last three years. Beyond the immediate devastation, natural disasters also have long-term effects on people, the environment and business, which are especially devastating in low-income countries that do not have climate adaptation and disaster management strategies in place.
The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which was released for public comment in August, is intended to be finalised by the end of 2018. This national energy plan calls for a mix of wind, solar and gas energy to challenge coal as the dominant source of energy, and will guide the Department of Energy’s call for tenders for new power plants. At the launch of the 2018 IRP, energy minister Jeff Radebe said that energy demand is dropping, with demand now the same as it was in 2007, and at 30% less than was projected in the 2010 energy plan. According to the IRP, in 2030 the energy grid will be constituted of 45% coal, 16% gas, 15% wind, 11% solar photovoltaic, 6% hydroelectric, 4% pumped storage and 3% nuclear energy.
The WWF-Mondi Wetlands Programme demonstrates how water stewardship and good business practices go hand-in-hand and, in the process, contributes to developing global best practices for wetland management.