Earlier this month, the United Nations finalized a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 goals are designed to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which were eight goals set in 2000. Like the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs are designed to be carried out over the next 15 years and officially start at the beginning of 2016. The SDGs are even more ambitious than their predecessors, despite the fact that the UN only achieved one of the eight goals set in 2000. UN Special Adviser Amina Mohammed is optimistic about the initiative, calling the results from the Millennium Development Goals “a glass half full, and the other half are lessons learned.” Initial difficulties included communication between the many participating countries and businesses due to language. Amina Mohammed will be responsible for leading the 193 countries that agreed to the SDGs (read her full interview here). These goals touch on everything from encouraging sustainable practices in agriculture and water usage to producing and consuming energy in a sustainable manner. Goal 13 explicitly states that the UN intends to take “urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”
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.
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.
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