Global Impact Conference brings together experts on Sustainable Development Goals

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The Global Impact Conference, a case-based international conclave which brought together leading experts working towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in different countries, was held online on December 1, 2021. 

Closely following the Conference of Parties (COP26) meeting on climate change held in Glasgow, UK, last month, the Global Impact Conference was organised with the joint support of the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, Europe’s leading news channel Euronews, UN Global Compact, and VK.com as digital partner. 

The second edition of the Global Impact Conference had as its theme “Bridging the Gaps” based on the premise that there is a growing gap in socio-economic development between countries, posing a threat to prosperity, security and stability in the world. The conference agenda looked to examine the role of intercultural and social partnerships in solving global problems. 

The conference aims to accumulate and disseminate best practices in sustainable development in new communities and institutions. By bringing together conference participants, valuable knowhow is sought to be exchanged on the path to a better future. 

“The UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow showed that during the COVID-19 and environmental crises, leadership and readiness to solve problems become especially evident”, a Rosatom statement said.    

“At the present moment, it is important for us to draw conclusions and do our homework based on the results of the COP26 summit, as well as take practical steps in a coordinated manner”, said Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev.  

“Last year presented two major challenges for humanity in the form of the Covid-19 crisis and the climate emergency. Both these phenomena provide challenges as well as opportunities”, Likhachev said in his opening address at the conference.  

Noting that 32 countries operate nuclear power plants (NPPs) that account for 10 percent of global energy production and a quarter of the low carbon energy sources worldwide, Likhachev said there was an urgent need to double the current nuclear power capacity over the next three decades.  

“Nuclear power is the only carbon-free source of power that can deliver energy day and night in a reliable manner. Nuclear has also proved itself to be a safe source of energy both for humans, as well as for the environment”, he said.  

The Rosatom chief cited the example of China, India, Bangladesh and the Central Asian nations to show how these countries have adopted nuclear energy as an essential part of the development strategy and are concentrating on “when and where” to build their future NPPs which normally have a life span ranging from 60 to 100 years.  

Noting that global leaders are taking action, as was seen at the recent COP26 climate change meet, Likhachev also said: “What the Global Impact Conference reveals is that you don’t need to be a President or CEO to make a huge positive impact. Our expert speakers clearly showed that leadership is being democratised. The right combination of skills and ideas can change the world through many small steps.” 

More than 40 experts from 30 countries took part in the conference, including government officials, international organizations, corporations, NGOs, development institutions and local expert communities. A separate portion of the conference was dedicated to youth environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. 

Speakers presented projects that put sustainable development goals into practice and addressed topics. These included themes such as climate change, renewable energy and clean technologies, as well as socially transformative investments. Participants also looked at the issues of the digital divide and gender inequality, universal access to education, clean water, and sanitation, as well as the reduction of poverty and hunger. 

The main theme of GIC 2021 was the importance of trust and partnership in response to today’s challenges. Participants presented tools for preserving the planet’s biodiversity, concepts for cities of the future, and a programme to support overall living standards. A collection of more than 50 successful cases and effective international best practices in the field of sustainable development were assessed. 

Another major theme of the conference was the role of youth in sustainable transformation of the world. “Despite their tender age, these days young people are vigorous, ever-ready to take responsibility and actively search for solutions to global challenges. It means that we are open to a dialogue and eager to work together on our global strategy and to deliver a joint impact on the future. Therefore, I believe, it would be a sound and timely resolution of this conference to establish an international youth advisory council Impact Team 2050”, Likhachev said.  

A Rosatom statement said the Impact Team 2050 will introduce its youth vision for the future of the green agenda, promote and foster youth-driven sustainable solutions from around the globe and prepare recommendations to make the labour market better focused on the youth demands.  

The First Impact Team 2050 Meeting will be held in Sochi, Russia in 2022, the statement added, inviting young people to become a part of the Impact Team 2050 on https://team.rosatomimpact.com/ before March 1, 2022.