The UN Is Forming An Accelerator To Make Its Sustainable Development Goals A Reality
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
In the two years since the United Nations introduced the Sustainable Development Goals, the global benchmarks–from ending hunger to promoting sustainability–have already begun to inspire shifts across the public and private sectors alike. In the last year or so, we’ve seen Costa Rica run for 113 consecutive days on renewable energy; we’ve seen the Indian city of Pune declare its goal to become the first “smart sanitation city” by using data to tackle its waste and water contamination issues; we’ve seen Volvo pledge to phase out diesel and gas-powered cars in 2019.
But measuring progress by these 17 goals has also made it pretty clear that we, as a planet, are nowhere close to meeting them. The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the UN agency that supports the implementation of the goals, releases a progress report each year; this year’s showed a disturbing amount of countries in the red (aka: “needs improvement”) category: For example, OECD member countries fail spectacularly at meeting climate action and responsible consumption and production goals; east and south Asia struggles with hunger and good health.
Knitting all the positive shifts that have come out of the SDGs together across national lines will require creating a strong support system for public-private partnerships. Realizing this, the UN launched Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (or, more simply, P4G) on September 20 to do just that. The new accelerator-like program will convene national and city leaders, businesses, financial institutions, and community development advocates to develop solutions for the SDGs–particularly energy, water, ecosystems restoration, food systems, sustainable cities, and a circular economy–that can scale and apply across national borders.
Photo courtesy of Dana Smillie.