The year 2030 might seem like it’s far, far away, but not when it comes to climate change.
As we’ve said before: The clock is ticking to make significant changes; that’s why the new Microsoft #BuildFor2030 campaign can play such a significant role in reinforcing an importance-of-sustainability message to the world.
What Is the Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Campaign?
On Earth Day, Microsoft selected 25 partners, including Sphera, that do important things to help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), such as helping organizations move toward net zero emissions and, in turn, transforming the world. Sphera uses software solutions and consulting services to help companies achieve their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. With a focus on sustainable guidance, performance improvement and communication among other key sustainability-related initiatives, Sphera’s data, software and expertise are designed to help organizations evaluate their environmental impacts throughout the supply chain. (SpheraCloud is hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing service.)
To achieve the lofty SDG goals—and avoid more climate change-related impacts, including extreme weather events; the continuing escalation of species extinction; a boom in population growth for invasive species, such as jellyfish; and having to spend billions of additional dollars to protect against further impacts—we’re going to have to work together. That means we all have a part to play.
Amplifying the Message
In announcing the campaign, Microsoft said, “The #BuildFor2030 campaign helps Microsoft partners who are making a difference amplify their solutions in a commercial marketplace with added go-to-market benefits. Together, we can accelerate innovation and contribute to a more inclusive economy.”
When it comes to climate change, we are already seeing dangerous outcomes develop for humans and other lifeforms. One study even warned that one-third of all animal and plant species could be extinct by 2070 if we don’t do something about climate change, and as crops become less abundant and foods become less nutritious, that will negatively affect humans as well, especially as the population continues to grow.
Getting the planet on the right track to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is designed to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact” won’t be easy, but we do have a roadmap on how to get there.
But unlike in a film where tense music plays and a protagonist swoops in at the last minute to thwart the evil plans of a dastardly villain and save the day—or turn back time a la Superman—there is no one heroic act that can change everything in an instant.
Climate change is no fictional character. It is, however, one of the biggest “antagonists” the world has ever seen. 2030 is the year that scientists have identified as the point of no return on preventing global temperatures from rising an additional 1.5˚C (2.7˚F) above preindustrial levels. (There is some wiggle room on that timeline, however, if we, as a global community, can make headway sooner rather than later on meeting net zero goals and minimizing the amount of greenhouse gases that are released).
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “[L]ack of global cooperation, lack of governance of the required energy and land transformation, and increases in resource-intensive consumption are key impediments to achieving 1.5°C pathways.”
How Can We Make a Difference on Climate Change?
It’s going to take a massive effort from people, companies, nongovernmental organizations, governments and more to generate the innovation, collaboration and determination needed to get the job done. That includes, but is not limited to curtailing air and water pollution, focusing on energy-efficient technologies, moving toward a plastic waste-free world, and rethinking how we use natural resources throughout the food supply chain while figuring out how to continue feeding the people, plants and animals that inhabit Planet Earth.
The human population is expected to jump to 9.7 billion people by 2050 from about 7.9 billion people today, and the cattle population, for one, is set to increase to 2.6 billion in that same time frame from the current 1.5 billion. Why is that significant? While carbon dioxide is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, methane is second, and it’s 28 times more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. Not to pick on our bovine friends, but agriculture is the second-largest contributor to methane gas emission.
What will the world look like in 2030?
No one knows for sure, but we do know the time to start thinking about that future is now. The Microsoft #BuildFor2030 campaign is a great reminder that we have a lot of work to do with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and innovation leading the way.
So let’s start building; we have a lot of work to do!