NC State SDG Initiative
Beginning during the Fall 2021 Semester, NC State will launch a campus programming initiative focused around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This initiative, scheduled to last through the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years, will feature a wide array of programs each semester focused around a cluster of SDGs. The purpose of the SDG Campus Programming Initiative is to educate students at NC State as to what the SDGs are, why they are a blueprint for peace and prosperity in the world, and inspire them to take action in support of the goals on their campuses and in their local community.
Spring 2022 SDG Cluster: Environmental Responsibility
17 Goals for People, for Planet
The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. The 17 Goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals.
Today, progress is being made in many places, but, overall, action to meet the Goals is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. 2020 needs to usher in a decade of ambitious action to deliver the Goals by 2030.
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
The world is making progress towards Goal 7, with encouraging signs that energy is becoming more sustainable and widely available. Access to electricity in poorer countries has begun to accelerate, energy efficiency continues to improve, and renewable energy is making impressive gains in the electricity sector.
Nevertheless, more focused attention is needed to improve access to clean and safe cooking fuels and technologies for 3 billion people, to expand the use of renewable energy beyond the electricity sector, and to increase electrification in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Energy Progress Report provides global dashboard to register progress on energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy. It assesses the progress made by each country on these three pillars and provides a snapshot of how far we are from achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals targets.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
2019 was the second warmest year on record and the end of the warmest decade (2010- 2019) ever recorded.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rose to new records in 2019.
Climate change is affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, and weather events are becoming more extreme.
Although greenhouse gas emissions are projected to drop about 6 per cent in 2020 due to travel bans and economic slowdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this improvement is only temporary. Climate change is not on pause. Once the global economy begins to recover from the pandemic, emissions are expected to return to higher levels.
Saving lives and livelihoods requires urgent action to address both the pandemic and the climate emergency.
The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement also aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, through appropriate financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity building framework.
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
The ocean drives global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea.
Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future. However, at the current time, there is a continuous deterioration of coastal waters owing to pollution, and ocean acidification is having an adversarial effect on the functioning of ecosystems and biodiversity. This is also negatively impacting small scale fisheries.
Saving our ocean must remain a priority. Marine biodiversity is critical to the health of people and our planet. Marine protected areas need to be effectively managed and well-resourced and regulations need to be put in place to reduce overfishing, marine pollution and ocean acidification.
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Nature is critical to our survival: nature provides us with our oxygen, regulates our weather patterns, pollinates our crops, produces our food, feed and fibre. But it is under increasing stress. Human activity has altered almost 75 per cent of the earth’s surface, squeezing wildlife and nature into an ever-smaller corner of the planet.
Around 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction – many within decades – according to the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service. The report called for transformative changes to restore and protect nature. It found that the health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever, affecting the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.
Deforestation and desertification – caused by human activities and climate change – pose major challenges to sustainable development and have affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Forests are vitally important for sustaining life on Earth, and play a major role in the fight against climate change. And investing in land restoration is critical for improving livelihoods, reducing vulnerabilities, and reducing risks for the economy.
The health of our planet also plays an important role in the emergence of zoonotic diseases, i.e. diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans. As we continue to encroach on fragile ecosystems, we bring humans into ever-greater contact with wildlife, enabling pathogens in wildlife to spill over to livestock and humans, increasing the risk of disease emergence and amplification.
Future Thematic Clusters
Fall 2021: Quality of Life
- No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-Being, Clean Water and Sanitation
Spring 2022: Environmental Responsibility
- Affordable and Clean Energy, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land
Fall 2022: Equity & Equal Opportunity
- Good Education, Gender Equality, Industry, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities
Spring 2023: Prosperity for All
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Peace, and Justice and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships for the Goals
Learn about a different UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) at each session and how you can be involved. The SDGs offer goals for the world to better the lives of everyone on the planet.
The Spring Discussion Series will focus on our Environmental Responsibilities and feature a faculty member, student group representative, and practitioner from the community briefly sharing what they are doing to make a difference related to the Global Goal. Each session will include time for table discussion and conclude with ways you can connect.
- January 19, 2022 – SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
- February 16, 2022 – SDG 13: Climate Action
- March 30, 2022 – SDG 14: Life Below Water
- April 13, 2022 – SDG 15: Life On Land
Upcoming Campus SDG Events
Plan your Own Event
NC State Global invites campus partners to host events related to the semester’s cluster of Sustainable Development Goals. Events can be submitted through the University Calendar and will automatically be routed to NC State Global for promotion. Please see the expandable box for additional information.
To manage SDG Event submissions, we will be utilizing the central University Calendar. To submit your event:
- Login to calendar.ncsu.edu with your unity information. Click on the red ‘Submit an Event’ button on the right side.
- As part of the Event Name, add ‘SDG:’ This will instruct the calendar administrators to add the SDG tag on the back end so it shows up on the SDG website.
- In your event description, please identify which SDGs are related to this event.
- In the Filters section, under Topic, select ‘Global‘.
- Send us an email to let us know so we can help promote! firstname.lastname@example.org