11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

Report shows North Carolinians breathing cleanest air in decades

Report shows North Carolinians breathing cleanest air in decades
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Report shows North Carolinians breathing cleanest air in decades  WITN

Report shows North Carolinians breathing cleanest air in decades

North Carolinians Enjoy Cleanest Air in Decades, Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – The latest update of the “Air Quality Trends in North Carolina” report, released by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality (NCDAQ), reveals that North Carolinians are breathing the cleanest air in decades. This achievement aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations to ensure a sustainable and healthy environment for all.

Emissions Reductions and SDGs

  1. Emissions of Criteria Air Pollutants, which are regulated under the federal Clean Air Act, have dropped statewide from 1990 through 2020, contributing to SDG 13: Climate Action.
  2. The report highlights significant reductions in emissions:
  • 94% reduction in sulfur dioxide
  • 73% reduction in carbon monoxide
  • 72% reduction in oxides of nitrogen
  • 49% reduction in fine particulate matter
  • 68% reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

These reductions demonstrate the commitment of North Carolina towards SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Collaborative Efforts for Success

Mike Abraczinskas, Director of the Division of Air Quality, acknowledges that achieving this milestone was the result of over 50 years of hard work by dedicated staff and various stakeholders. This accomplishment showcases the synergy between environmental stewardship and economic growth, supporting SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Contributing Factors

The report attributes the decline in emissions to several factors:

  1. Increased electricity production from clean sources, such as utility-scale solar development, aligning with SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.
  2. Improved engine and fuel standards, along with advanced emissions controls in vehicles, leading to reduced pollution from cars, trucks, and other vehicles on North Carolina highways. This supports SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

From 1990 through 2020, emissions from “on-road” sources of air pollution have significantly decreased:

  • 80% reduction in carbon monoxide (CO)
  • 69% reduction in oxides of nitrogen (NOx)
  • 84% reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

These reductions contribute to SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG 13: Climate Action. Furthermore, the report anticipates further emissions reductions from the transportation sector in the future due to the growing adoption of electric vehicles, supporting SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

Continued Monitoring and Reporting

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality regularly updates and publishes the “Air Quality Trends in North Carolina” report. This commitment to transparency and accountability aligns with SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
  • SDG 15: Life on Land

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • SDG 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
  • SDG 11.6: Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.
  • SDG 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.
  • SDG 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Indicator for SDG 7.2: Proportion of total final energy consumption from renewable sources.
  • Indicator for SDG 11.6: Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in cities.
  • Indicator for SDG 13.2: Number of countries that have communicated their first or second nationally determined contributions.
  • Indicator for SDG 15.1: Coverage of protected areas in relation to marine areas.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Table

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Proportion of total final energy consumption from renewable sources.
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management. Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in cities.
SDG 13: Climate Action Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning. Number of countries that have communicated their first or second nationally determined contributions.
SDG 15: Life on Land By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services. Coverage of protected areas in relation to marine areas.

Explanation:

The article highlights the significant reduction in emissions of harmful air pollutants in North Carolina, indicating progress towards several SDGs. SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) is addressed through the increased use of clean sources like utility-scale solar development, contributing to the target of increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix. SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) is connected as the reduction in air pollutants improves air quality, aligning with the target of reducing the adverse environmental impact of cities. SDG 13 (Climate Action) is relevant as the integration of clean energy and emission reduction measures aligns with the target of integrating climate change measures into national policies. SDG 15 (Life on Land) is connected as the reduction in pollutants benefits terrestrial ecosystems, supporting the target of conserving and restoring terrestrial ecosystems.

The specific targets identified are based on the content of the article. The indicators mentioned in the article can be used to measure progress towards these targets. For SDG 7.2, the indicator is the proportion of total final energy consumption from renewable sources, which can be measured to assess the share of clean energy. For SDG 11.6, the indicator is the annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in cities, which can be measured to evaluate air quality. For SDG 13.2, the indicator is the number of countries that have communicated their nationally determined contributions, which can be tracked to assess progress in integrating climate change measures. For SDG 15.1, the indicator is the coverage of protected areas in relation to marine areas, which can be measured to monitor conservation efforts.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: witn.com

 

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