Press release: Sustainable development goals at risk without effective climate action – UN organizations in Finland call on MPs and MEPs to make climate policy priority

A group of UN agencies working in Finland come together to remind newly elected members of parliament and members of European parliament who are elected next Sunday, of the importance of urgently addressing climate change through policy making.

‘Climate change has the power to disrupt, or even undo, much of the progress made across the Agenda 2030 targets. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate action go hand-in-hand. With so much at stake it is essential we act now together to take urgent action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that climate change mitigation is a moral, ethical and economic imperative’, reminds Jenni Kauppila, Advocacy Officer of UN Association of Finland.

‘Meeting the targets for SDG13 is integral to reaching the development goals more broadly. The UN agencies in Finland work across a variety of issues, and we know that for any of our efforts to succeed we must address climate change. In the UN Village a group of  UN agencies are coming together and calling on the newly elected decision-makers, to look at the evidence and listen to the public’s concerns and make climate-conscious and responsible decisions to ensure our common future.’  Says Kunal Sen, Director of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) located in Helsinki.

Echoing the sentiment of the Joint Appeal published by the Chief Executives Board of the United Nations on 10 May, UNU-WIDER, IOM, UNTIL, the UN Association of Finland, UN Youth Finland, UN Youth Helsinki Finland National Committee for UN Women along with Väestöliitto will launch a social media campaign at the World Village Festival in Helsinki on 25 May asking the public to share their messages on the climate action they want to see from decision-makers using #Deadline2030.

2030 is a key year. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report on the impacts of global warming and gave humanity until 2030 to cut emissions drastically (45% from 2010 level), in order to reach zero net emissions by 2050 and to limit global warming under 1.5°C. The report warns that ‘climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C’. 

In May 2019 The Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a report summarising the findings from a global assessment on the decline of biodiversity. The report warns that the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely. Climate change is one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss and in the future its role is predicted to increase. Unless we take immediate action we are not going to be able to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Paris Agreement on climate change, or the SDGs.

Action must be taken if we want to have a chance at celebrating the achievement of Agenda 2030 in 11 years.  

The signing agencies:

UNU-WIDER (United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics)
UNTIL (United Nations Technology Innovation Labs)
IOM (International Organization for Migration)
UN Association of Finland
UN Youth Finland
UN Youth Helsinki Finland
Finland National Committee for UN Women
UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)

For more information, contact:

Jenni Kauppila
Advocacy Officer, UN Association of Finland
+358 44 781 0302

Eeva Reittilä
Communications Specialist, UN Association of Finland
+358 44 7810 305

Ruby Richardson
Communications Team Assistant, UNU-WIDER
+358 9 6159 9257