Sustainable Development: More Than Climate Change

At every COP the stakes are higher and the call for action louder. The road to meeting the Paris Agreement is paved with pledges, reports and analysis showing the state of the climate emergency, visualizing scenarios based on different levels of commitment. As it stands today, it looks as if the world is heading to a 1.8°C temperature rise by 2100, the task of staying below or on 1.5°C is massive.

Every year around November time, for a few weeks, all eyes are on the COP negotiations, with climate change front and center of most media coverage. But is climate change the key issue for the next decade? Anouschka Jansen, Sustainability Director of QIMA explains the importance of looking at sustainability in all aspects.

The next wave?
The effect of climate change on biodiversity is unequivocal. Rapid climate change undermines ecosystems’ ability to adapt, leading to an increase in biodiversity loss. Biodiversity collapse, however, is not just linked to climate change, but also to direct human activity such as deforestation and land use. Experts warn us that the next even bigger wave to hit humanity after climate change is biodiversity collapse, and while the visual is clear, it should be even more clear that this wave is already upon us and needs to be addressed as urgently as climate change.

Human rights
Climate change and biodiversity collapse have a huge impact on people. We know certain groups are disproportionally hit, even though they contribute the least to the issues.
In July 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing that access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right.

Climate change already creates climate refugees and worsened conditions for vulnerable groups, including climate change induced slavery. Growing awareness and attention to addressing the impacts of climate change and an unhealthy environment on people, and especially highly vulnerable groups, is crucial.

The ILO has reported an increase in child labor during the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing the progress made over the past 20 years. Forced labor has become an urgent topic for import bans in the US and recently Canada as well, and NGOs have taken action against brands in Europe.

Across the world, due diligence legislation is on the rise. Some is focused on specific issues such as modern slavery or child labor, while others cover the broadest spectrum of labor, human rights and environmental areas.

Decade of action
So, yes, sustainability is more than climate change, more than biodiversity loss. And at the same time, it is exactly those things. Systems thinking, understanding how everything is linked, is complex and yet vital when looking at sustainable development. Focusing on climate change, or biodiversity or modern slavery, is necessary to tackle it with focus and determination. We cannot, however, afford to lose sight of all the other development challenges the world faces.

Climate change and sustainability is a critical topic and is only gaining more significance world-wide. Global supply chain solution providers like QIMA are at the forefront to help clients understand new mandatory due diligence legislations that are rapidly coming into force, developing ESG risk reports and strategy frameworks that can analyze the supply chain, mitigate risk and reach sustainability goals with more confidence.  

QIMA is a global provider of quality control and supply chain compliance solutions that combine on-the-ground experts for quality inspections, supplier audits, certification, and lab testing, with a digital platform that brings accuracy, visibility, and intelligence for quality and compliance data. The company currently operate in 95 countries and help more than 17,000 global brands, retailers, manufacturers, and food growers achieve quality excellence.

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