Ireland declares climate emergency; UN appoints actress Dia Mirza as SDG advocate- Current Affairs

The British Parliament became the world’s first to declare a climate emergency by passing the largely symbolic motion on May 1.

Created On: May 11, 2019 09:04 ISTModified On: May 10, 2019 19:04 IST
Ireland declares climate emergency

Story 1- Ireland declares climate emergency

Ireland on May 9, 2019 became the second nation in the world after Britain to declare a climate emergency. The Irish Parliament accepted an amendment to a parliamentary report declaring the emergency without a vote.

The parliamentary report also called upon the parliament to examine how the Irish government can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss. The decision was hailed by environmental campaigners who called it as historic.

Key Highlights

The British Parliament became the world’s first to declare a climate emergency by passing the largely symbolic motion on May 1, 2019.

The move followed 11 days of street protests in London by the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group.

The environmental group’s ultimate aim is to slash global greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and to biodiversity loss.

The British government is currently aiming to achieve the goal by 2050, which it says can be achieved without causing substantial economic damage and at a relatively low cost.

Climate Emergency: What does it mean?

The declaration of the emergency is a call for governments across the world to change their behavior towards the climate and biodiversity in profound ways, on a sustained basis.

The declaration calls for the government to fast track legislative changes with respect to climate deterioration.  It also involves drastic cut down of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.



The decision comes as the European Union leaders put action on climate change at the top of the agenda in the next five years.

Speaking on the same, the Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton said that climate change has been rightly described as the greatest challenge facing humanity. He stated that climate that the world is reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration.

He added that urgency had been injected into the issue by protests, especially by school students calling for action from parliaments around the world.

As per environmental experts, climate action should be viewed as an opportunity to create a stronger, more sustainable economy for everyone.  For the same, governments across the world will have to radically transform their society and economy.

Story 2- UN appoints actress Dia Mirza, Alibaba’s Jack Ma as new 'SDG Advocates'

Indian actress Dia Mirza and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma have been appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as the new advocates for the UN’s ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

They will be among the new class of 'SDG Advocates', which includes 17 influential public figures including Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Qatari Emir’s wife Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, British screenwriter Richard Curtis, Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad, American economist Jeffrey Sachs and Forest Whitaker.

Role of SDG Advocates

The key role of the SDG advocates would be to raise awareness, inspire greater ambition, solidify global political will and push for faster action on the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs were adopted by the world leaders on September 25, 2015 as a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Co-Chairs of SDG Advocates: President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg

Key Highlights

The Indian Actress, Dia Mirza has been the UN Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador for India.

On the other hand, Alibaba co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma has been an SDG Advocate since 2016.

According to the United Nations, the new class of SDG advocates will be driven by the key principles of the SDGs, which include peace, prosperity, people, planet, and partnerships.

In order to build the momentum for transformative, inclusive development by 2030, the SDG Advocates would be required to use their unique platforms and leadership to inspire cross-cutting mobilization of the global community.

The advocates have been tasked with driving action, building ambition, solidifying global political will and leveraging and building bridges between their audiences and work together to drive progress on achieving the SDGs.

The advocates, hailing from different nations and career fields including entertainment, academia, sport, business and activist organizations, represent the universal character of SDGs.

Other Details

Besides appointing a new class of SDG advocates, the UN Secretary-General has appointed some members of the previous class of SDG Advocates as SDG Advocate Alumni.

The members include Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Nobel Laureate and Founder of Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh.


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