Transformation – The UN’s ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’

By Michael Rogers

Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development works as a roadmap to achieving a sustainable future for all the world’s countries – both developed and developing.

The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to improve the lives of everyone on the planet, recognising that putting an end to poverty and hunger as well as improving health, education, equality must go hand in hand with economic growth.

More and more companies in the energy industry have been referring to the Agenda as they discuss their sustainability plans and policies, so be prepared to see the SDG icons on a regular basis.

The full Agenda is available at the Sustainable Goals Development website and elaborates on specifics for each goal.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts [in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change].

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

The UN recognised that these are all ambitious goals, and points to its vision for energy as a key to success: “A world where human habitats are safe, resilient and sustainable and where there is universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.”

SDG 07When it comes to sustainable access to energy, two Goals – 7 “energy for all” and 13 – “combat climate change” – address not only energy availability, but its source and use.

Those of us who live in developed countries may find it difficult to believe, but out of the approximately 7.5 billion of us on the planet, nearly 1 billion of the population live without access to electricity. Even more troubling is that around 40% of the world’s population is without clean cooking fuels, which contributes to millions of deaths each year from “indoor pollution”.

SDB 13What becomes apparent is that while Goals 7 and 13 directly address energy, many others – to end poverty, promote sustainable consumption and production, ensure sustainable economic growth, and so on – also have strong ties to energy supply and use.

Visit the Sustainable Goals Development website for the full picture, including updates and status reports.