Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future".[1][2] The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA) and are intended to be achieved by 2030. They are included in a UN-GA Resolution called the 2030 Agenda or what is colloquially known as Agenda 2030.[3] The SDGs were developed in the Post-2015 Development Agenda as the future global development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals which were ended in 2015. The SDGs emphasize the interconnected environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable development, by putting sustainability at their center.[4]

Sustainable Development Goals
Mission statement"A shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future"[1]
Type of projectNon-Profit
FounderUnited Nations

The 17 SDGs are: No poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, Reduced Inequality, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life On Land, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Partnerships for the Goals. Though the goals are broad and interdependent, two years later (6 July 2017), the SDGs were made more "actionable" by a UN Resolution adopted by the General Assembly. The resolution identifies specific targets for each goal, along with indicators that are being used to measure progress toward each target.[5] The year by which the target is meant to be achieved is usually between 2020 and 2030.[6] For some of the targets, no end date is given.

There are cross-cutting issues and synergies between the different goals. Cross-cutting issues include gender equality, education, culture and health. With regards to SDG 13 on climate action, the IPCC sees robust synergies, particularly for the SDGs 3 (health), 7 (clean energy), 11 (cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 14 (oceans).[7][8]:70 Synergies amongst the SDGs are "the good antagonists of trade-offs".[8]:67 Some of the known and much discussed conceptual problem areas of the SDGs include: The fact that there are competing and too many goals (resulting in problems of trade-offs), that they are weak on environmental sustainability and that there are difficulties with tracking qualitative indicators. For example, these are two difficult trade-offs to consider: "How can ending hunger be reconciled with environmental sustainability? (SDG targets 2.3 and 15.2) How can economic growth be reconciled with environmental sustainability? (SDG targets 9.2 and 9.4) "[9]

The UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is the annual space for global monitoring of the SDGs, under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. However, it has so far failed to act as an orchestrator to promote system-wide coherence due to a lack of political leadership owing to divergent national interests.[10]:206 To facilitate monitoring of progress on the SDG implementation, a variety of tools exist to track and visualize this progress towards the goals. All intention is to make data more available and easily understood.[11] For example, the "SDG Tracker", launched in June 2018, presents available data across all indicators.[11] There were serious impacts and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on all 17 SDGs in the year 2020.[12] A scientific assessment released in 2022 stated that the world is not on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and concluded that the SDGs have so far had only limited political effects in global, national and local governance since their launch in 2015.[10]:218

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