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What Are the Sustainable Development Goals and How Can You Help?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were set up in 2015 by the United Nations to achieve a better, brighter future for the world and its inhabitants by the year 2030. The plan has 17 sustainable development goals and 169 targets to hit. Some of the goals include no poverty, climate action, gender equality plus many more important steps that need to be taken for a safer and healthier world.

As the United Nations put it: "They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental."

We need to start acting quickly before it's too late. Wars happening right now, poverty in hundreds of countries that are being ignored, ice caps melting at alarming rates, and millions of barrels of oil being burned each day speeding up global warming. The world is in huge trouble and we need to act very quickly.

The United States produce and use the most oil in the world, producing about 18.6 million and consuming about 18.1 million barrels of oil per day in 2020. That statistic is terrifying, that is just one country in the world burning oil, and this isn't even taking the account of mining coal and other fossil fuels. Think about every country in the world adding to this, burning fossil fuels means a large amount of carbon dioxide into the air. The greenhouse gasses get trapped causing the world to heat up, known as global warming. By the end of this century, global temperature will be at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 1901-1960 average, and possibly as much as 10.2 degrees warmer. The effects of global warming include more extreme weather like floods due to the ice caps melting, droughts and no food will grow meaning people will end up starving.

Poverty is everywhere even in the richest countries. There can be thousands of people living in poverty, this is due to there being many types of poverty. However absolute poverty is what most consider being the worst, living with deprived human needs such as food, clean water, shelter, and good health. It is estimated that there are just under 700 million people living in absolute poverty, which is 9% of the world's population. Statistics show that that number was coming down until 2020, Covid arrived and we find that the pandemic led to 97 million more people being in poverty in 2020. It could take decades for countries to help their people due to the debt Covid caused all around the world. Poverty could also get much worse if global warming doesn't stop, Climate change will drive 68 million to 132 million into poverty by 2030 new studies find

So what can YOU do to help?

There are many steps you can take to help save the world. Some are easy to add to your lifestyle, some may be harder. The first step you could do is to walk or cycle to places more. According to studies road transport accounts for 22% of total UK emissions of carbon dioxide. If you are only going on a 15 minute drive, try walking instead. It also comes with fitness benefits along with reducing carbon dioxide. Eating healthier food can also help you and the reduction of climate change, eating less meat, mainly red meats, which produces the most greenhouse gasses. It can also stop lands being destroyed that could be growing crops instead, otherwise, it will be used for factories and animal farms. Try going Vegan or Vegetarian to help this plant. You should also try to eat locally grown products as much as possible, to save travel and shipping that can cause more pollution.

Donations are also a massive factor in helping the world. You can donate food to your local food bank that will be shipped all around the world to help those that need it most. Check the World Food Programme for more information. There is currently a huge demand for donations for toys, clothes, money that will be used for blankets and medicines for those who are currently trapped in Ukraine or trying to flee the country, Oxfam is asking for donations to help or google your local donation point.

There are also so many other ways to help the world. Visit the 17 sustainable development goals website here to see what the other goals are and what you can do to help this beautiful planet.


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