The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a “universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.” In 2015, all 193 UN Member States adopted the 17 Goals as a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve these goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint for a “better and more sustainable future for all.” The goals address different challenges that everyone faces, this includes poverty, quality education, climate change, environmental degradation, clean energy, gender equality, and much more. The Goals are considered a call for action by all countries, regardless of economic stature, to foster prosperity and a better world while protecting the planet we all share. The goals acknowledge that in order to end poverty we have to focus our efforts on programs that promote economic growth and address various social needs, like health, education, social protection, jobs, and education, while fighting climate change and protecting the environment.
EcoCart and the Sustainable Development Goals
Each project EcoCart supports has different Sustainable Development Goals. It is important that we choose projects that not only address climate change but also work to better and enrich the lives of people around the world. Many of our projects have a social impact that is just as imperative as the environmental aspect. Read more about our variety of projects here.
While EcoCart’s projects support a variety of the Sustainable Development Goals, some of the more common ones our projects touch are 6, 8, 13, and 15.
Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
While there has been massive progress in providing clean, potable water to people around the world, there are still too many who lack access to clean drinking water and sanitation. In fact, one in three people do not have access to safe drinking water, two out of five people do not have a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water, and more than 673 million people still practice open defecation. This Goal can be found in projects that work toward providing clean drinking water and sanitation to the communities they are in.
Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all
Sustained and inclusive economic growth can drive progress, create decent jobs for all and improve living standards. In 2017, the global unemployment rate was 5.6%, which has decreased from 6.4% in 2000. There is a disparity in the pay that women receive compared to men. The global gender pay gap stands at 23%—without taking action soon, it will take another 68 years to achieve equal pay. Despite their increasing presence in public life, women still continue to do 2.6 times the unpaid care and domestic work that men do on average. Goal 8 has many targets and is working to achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading, and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labor-intensive sectors. This Goal can be found in projects that promote economic growth within their communities and provide job opportunities for those involved.
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
The climate is changing—and not for the better. 2019 was the hottest year on record and capped the end of the hottest decade on record too. Carbon dioxide levels and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere also broke records in 2019. Climate change is something that affects everyone on this planet, and some more than others. It impacts economies and disrupts lives. Goal 13 aims to combat climate change by improving education, raising awareness and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning. This Goal is supported by projects that actively fight climate change through various mechanisms, like carbon sequestration.
Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss
There is no “us” without nature—it is absolutely imperative to our survival. Nature provides oxygen, regulates water, pollinates crops, and produces sustenance for all living things on this planet. Unfortunately, it is under increasing destruction. Human activity alone has changed almost 75% of the earth’s surface, forcing wildlife and nature into an increasingly small area of the planet. The ever-important flora and fauna we rely on are being threatened by extinction, for many species the threat of the end is within the decades to come. This is why immediate action and change are required to work to restore and protect the nature we have left. Deforestation is a huge contributor to climate change and a threat to life as we know it. Goal 15 is working toward taking urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species. Projects that work to protect wildlife, halt deforestation, and implement sustainable forest management practices aid Goal 15.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are an excellent framework for what we need to do for our planet and the people living on it, now and into the future. As part of our carbon offsetting projects at EcoCart, we make sure to focus on a variety of the UN’s goals, ensuring that we protect people around the world from the effects of climate change. For example, our Solar Cooking project in Chad reduces thousands of tons of carbon a year and protects women from being attacked while getting firewood. Our environmental activism has to focus on helping those who need it around the world, so we can all live on a healthier planet.