Organisations demand action from PM on Sustainable Development Goals
Organisations have demanded commitment from the UK Prime Minister to accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A group of organisations spearheaded by UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD), delivered a resolute brief to PM Boris Johnson this week. It outlines 3 key actions the Government must undertake to uphold its promises for achieving the SDGs in the UK.
Assembled from the views and expertise of UKSSD members, the brief asks the PM to:
Show leadership by signalling support for organisations to work together in the UK, across sectors and industries, to transform broken or failing systems
Publicly communicate the importance of the SDGs and develop a more effective approach to their implementation
Help the UK understand its performance on the SDGs by openly disclosing progress towards the targets
Developed by the UN, the 17 Goals provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. They are an urgent call for action by all countries in a global partnership.
However, in 2018, research by UKSSD found that the UK is failing to perform on 76% of the targets under the 17 Goals. The deadline for achieving them has been set for the end of the decade, making 2020 a crucial time – it marks the 10-year countdown for us to deliver the Goals and build the future we want.
UKSSD Network Director Emily Auckland said: “This brief makes the case for why Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to show leadership on this agenda after a lacklustre approach from the UK Government so far.
“It reflects the work of UKSSD over the last five years and the views of stakeholders across the country, representing different sectors and industries. We hope it shows we’re serious about working with his Government on the SDGs and look forward to receiving a formal response”.
In UKSSD’s review of the UK’s progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, it was concluded that people in our country are being left behind, and at the same time, we are consuming far beyond our share of the planet’s natural resources.
The definitive brief gives clear expectations and instruction on how we can fast-forward the UK’s progress on the Goals. With collaboration at its core detailed recommendations include helping to build and encourage partnerships, a coordinated communications campaign, and an independent monitoring and review process.
Update: 9th June 2020
We’ve supported a letter calling on the Prime Minister to use the SDGs to create a socially just and green recovery from Covid19
A letter sent to the Prime Minister on Tuesday 9th June calls on his government to use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to frame Covid-19 recovery plans.
The letter references a statement made by the Prime Minister at the Financing for Development event on 28 May where he called for "fairer, greener and more resilient global economy" after Covid-19. He said that we must ‘work together to get shared goals back on track including [...] the Sustainable Development Goals’.
The letter supports this and states ‘we do not need to reinvent frameworks or agreements, we can instead use the global goals as the basis for a socially just and green recovery in the UK and abroad’.
Early evidence from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission showed that if implemented the SDGs create at least US$12tn in business opportunities in just 60 market hotspots and estimates this could be 2-3 times bigger across the whole economy.
The letter has been coordinated by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), UK Network.
Signatories include: leaders of Leonard Cheshire, Natwest Group, Nestle UK & Ireland, Linklaters, Clifford Chance, The Body Shop, SSE, HSBC, Standard Life Aberdeen, Mott MacDonald and Unilever; filmmaker Richard Curtis; the Mayor of Bristol; Chairman of the Local Government Association and Dr Mya-Rose Craig (aka Birdgirl).
The letter states that the ‘SDGs provide an internationally agreed framework, which also works at national, regional and local level, alongside and reinforcing existing plans and commitments.’
It asks that the SDGs be used ‘used to consolidate and future-proof [recovery] plans’ and goes on to recommend that they are used to:
1. Prioritise the most vulnerable in our society and level-up regional and societal inequalities
2. Build coherent policies for a healthy planet and to aid the transition to net zero
3. Unite all sectors behind a plan to build a stronger and more resilient economy
The SDGs are part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and give a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”. There are 17 Goals at its centre, encompassing climate action, education and health.
Unfortunately, the UKSSD Measuring Up report, found gaps in policy or inadequate performance for 57% of targets, and 15% where there is little to no policy in place to address it, or where performance is poor. It anticipates that this situation will be worsened by the societal and economic impacts of Covid-19.