What are the SDGs? The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals in summary.

20 November 2020 Read time: 2 min


What are the SGDs?

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 objectives for promoting peace, prosperity, social cohesion, environmental sustainability and the quality of life on our planet, for all.

The SDGs were published by the United Nations in 2015. The Goals have been universally adopted by all 193 UN Member States – no matter how rich or poor – and form the backbone of the 2030 Agenda which seeks to stimulate action in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.

The 17 SDGs cover a broad range of integrated sustainability themes – ending poverty, improving human health and education, reducing inequality, spurring on sustainable economic growth, combating climate change and promoting ecological sustainability.


2020 11 20 Kearney Group Un 17 Sustainable Development Goal

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are complemented by 169 targets and a global indicator framework that’s used to track progress at regional and national levels.

By way of example, Goal 7 Affordable and Clean Energy seeks to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030. It has five associated targets, each with clear indicators to help track worldwide progress – measures like the proportion of population with access to electricity, the proportion of population with primary reliance on clean fuels and technology, and the amount of financial aid flowing into developing countries in support of clean energy research and renewable energy production.

The UN calls the SDGs “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future” and an “urgent call for action by all countries in global partnership”.

With 5 years down, and only 10 left to go, taking action and progressing the 2030 Agenda is more important than ever.

While Member States are unquestionably in the driver’s seat when it comes to government policy and legislation, as citizens, consumers and investors, we also have the power to affect meaningful change by voting with our feet and directing our money responsibly and in line with the SDGs.

Progress towards the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be viewed through the UN’s Global SDG Indicators Database.


How can you contribute?


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