World economic and social survey 2013

Sustainable development challenges

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The 2015 deadline to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals is fast approaching. There has been significant progress, but it is uneven. Meanwhile the context within which development goals are pursued has become much more challenging, visible in the recent food, fuel and financial crisis. Environmental degradation, demographic changes and persistent inequalities further threaten progress. This publication will discuss new directions and policies at the national and international level to achieve transformative change and sustainable development post-2015.



The energy transformation challenge

The latest estimates confirm that trends in emissions are likely to lead to increases in world temperature which could have catastrophic consequences. Even after accounting for recent mitigation policies—including expanded use of renewable energy sources and improvements in energy efficiency—the accumulated concentrations of emissions will be well above the safety mark of 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050.


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