The year 2022 was challenging for many reasons, from the war in Ukraine to the energy and food crisis, inflation and increased burning of coal and fossil fuels, but above all on a global scale.
Climate change seems to be accelerating with extreme heat waves in East Africa, storms like Ian and Fiona, severe droughts in Europe or Brazil, floods in Pakistan, West Africa or South Africa, hurricanes in northern and central Europe, tropical storms in the Philippines or typhoons. In Bangladesh, for example.
In addition to starvation, deaths and millions of displaced persons, these events occurred devastating heat waves in Spain (with annual temperature records already exceeding 15°C since records exist), burning more than 300,000 hectares, in one of the most important droughts of the last 50 years. It is important that we take steps to reduce these impacts and protect people and the environment.
Sustainability policies are key to addressing these challenges, and they must be robust and scientifically sound to have a real impact, this must be the focus for 2023.
This should be the year of decarbonization through measures such as energy efficiency, the implementation of renewable energy, which is necessary in the most polluting activities, and the principle of differentiated responsibility should be taken into account and applied so that those sectors that have contributed significantly to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions should bear it. Heather takes more responsibility for the solution.
In the world, emissions continue to increase, even in Spain, which is why no real achievements have been made in the field of decarbonization of society.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also suggested that governments tax the extraordinary profits of fossil fuel companies and that the tax work to offset the damage caused by the climate crisis.
The COP15 summit in Montreal indicated that in 2023, humanity will have to take biodiversity conservation more seriously. Their loss has serious consequences for the environment and society.
Some of the measures that can contribute to the protection of natural habitats, the promotion of sustainable forest management and sustainable agricultural practices, as well as the inclusion of biodiversity in all plans and programmes.
The circular economy is another priority for the coming year, as it promotes efficient use of resources and reduces environmental impact. It can contribute to job creation and long-term sustainability. Products and materials must be efficiently reused and recycled to avoid waste generation and reduce reliance on natural resources.
In this wish list of how we can improve the planet by 2023, combating inequality is one of the main challenges.
Social and economic inequalities have worsened in recent years, negatively affecting the stability of societies as well as the quality of life for all. This can be countered through policies that promote equal opportunity and social justice, such as redistribution, promotion of good jobs, social protection for the most vulnerable, and improved education and training.
Transparency is another pending task in 2023, and it can be addressed with information and accountability as basic principles for enhancing trust and accountability in companies and public institutions. Transparency refers to the availability of relevant and verifiable data to the public, while accountability must be held accountable for the activities and decisions of the organization, so that laundry disappears immediately. Clear and periodic indicators are essential to constantly alert us whether we are making progress or not.