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Saturday, October 8, 2016, 09:59

UN official urges partnership for sustainable development

By Xinhua
UN official urges partnership for sustainable development
Wu Hongbo, UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, delivers a speech at the Global Energy Interconnection forum in Beijing, China, on March 30, 2016. (Xinhua)

HONG KONG — Wu Hongbo, UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, on Friday called for partnership to achieve sustainable development goals.

To achieve the 2030 Agenda, "we will have to work together," Wu said at the Energy and Sustainable Transportation Forum sponsored by China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), a non-governmental and non-profit organization based in Hong Kong.

The world is facing various challenges, including armed conflicts, violence against women and children, climate change, health of oceans and seas, and fragile economy, he said.

Cutting across these challenges is energy, with unsustainable energy consumption contributing to rising greenhouse gas emissions, while billions of people in developing countries still do not have access to modern energy services, he noted.

Closely related to energy is, of course, transportation, as the global transport system runs on fossil fuels and contributes nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

Worldwide, there are currently 1.2 billion cars, vans, trucks and buses, he added.

Outdoor air pollution, caused in part by transport, causes nearly 4 million premature deaths worldwide, predominantly in developing countries, he highlighted.

To cope with all these risks, world leaders gathered in New York in September 2015 and adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 goals and 169 targets at its core and these are commonly known now as the SDGs.

"Together with the climate agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and other UN agreements, the 2030 Agenda is a blueprint for a more inclusive and sustainable future," he said.

CEFC and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs have set up a 1-million-dollar sustainable energy grant. This year, the grant will go to a winner from the sustainable transportation sector.

Last year, it went to WE CARE SOLAR, a project to provide lighting at childbirth in Africa and Asia, powered by a solar suitcase.

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