• Caterina Sullivan

Interconnectedness of the Goals: Goal 12 & Goal 13

Updated: Nov 4, 2018



Image credit: United Nations Photo

One of the most exciting aspects of the Global Goals is their interconnectedness. Previously, the multiple areas of development have been treated rather separately within their own categories. Now, however, we have a way to explore how social, environmental and economic development are all related to one another. This year, we are exploring how each goal and their associated targets need to see the achievement of each other in order to be fulfilled as a whole.

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 12 aims to ensure businesses, governments and individuals adopt both sustainable consumption and sustainable production patterns, and Goal 13 aims to ensure we take urgent action to mitigate climate change and strengthen resilience against climate-related disasters.

The interconnectedness between these two goals can really be summed up in Target 12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature. Being able to live in a world which relies heavily on resources and understanding these resources rely heavily on nature is a fundamental step towards achieving the Global Goals.

Target 12.3 calls for us to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses by 2030. The energy required for production, harvesting and packing wasted food around the world generates more than 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to the growing threat of climate change.

While food waste is an important part of mitigating climate change, general waste cannot be overlooked either. Landfill accounts for almost 5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Landfill also accounts for 12% of global methane emissions. Methane, also known as CO4, has an effect 20 times greater than that of carbon dioxide, CO2. By being more conscious of what we send to landfill and what we are able to recycle, we can have a major impact on climate change while addressing Target 12.5: By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

Target 12.4 focuses on the achievement of the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment by 2020. Climate change has a significant impact on the management of chemicals and chemical waste. Increased precipitation, drought and temperature may affect how chemicals transform and break down. These changes may lead to increased risk on human health and the environment.

Climate change also affects natural resources through the altered temperatures. This impacts the achievement of Target 12.2: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

The relationship between Goal 12 and Goal 13 is bidirectional. One impacts and influences the achievement of the other, which is why it is incredibly important to ensure both goals are achieved.

To find out more about these two goals and their interrelatedness, you can read more by visiting #Goal12: #ResponsibleConsumption and #ResponsibleProduction and #Goal13: #ClimateAction.

This article was originally published on the Global Goals Australia Campaign website.

#goal12 #responsibleconsumption #responsibleproduction #goal13 #climateaction #climatechange

Authorised by Caterina Sullivan (2018)

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