The 2030 Agenda and the Global Goals are about changing the way we think about development - they are about changing our concepts as much as our actions. They have given us a way of talking not only about how you focus on eradicating extreme poverty, but also how you talk about so many of the other things that matter to human lives and the planet. A conversation that would have previously been about incomes has become an invitation to think about values, our responsibilities towards the environment, towards the poorest and most vulnerable, the planet and a fuller conception of human life.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this has been applying these lessons to how we think about development and politics in the UK. We are, like every government, trying to do the very difficult task of balancing realism with optimism and all the competing demands and priorities of millions of citizens. The Goals have helped us not just to compare our programmes abroad with those at home but also to reconsider our approach in the UK – a vision that is not just about raising incomes but stretches to thinking about the quality of our cities, the strength of our communities, the air that we breathe, our nature and landscape and the way we preserve our heritage for future generations.
The challenge is to keep this vision connected unflinchingly to reality, to specific people and places. Our Voluntary National Review charts the journey we have been on reviewing progress, highlighting achievements, challenges, sharing lessons and identifying next steps. It will outline collective effort and action across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
None of this is easy. It has taught us, as a country which spends 0.7% of Gross National Income on international development, something about the kinds of pressures that these processes impose on other people’s governments. We know just how important transparency is in terms of the public’s trust in us and our own understanding of what we are actually achieving. We have learnt a great deal about the strengths and occasional weaknesses of our statistical processes. The Office for National Statistics has been able to source good data on most of the Goals – reporting data on 72% of Global Indicators on the National Reporting Platform – but data gaps remain. This has reminded us that, if it is sometimes difficult to get data in a very stable developed country, it can be much more difficult to get data in more challenging environments.
Finally, it has reminded us that we do not hold all of the levers, and of how much of sustainable development depends not just upon government but also on civil society and the private sector too.
Three things we are particularly proud of have been the steps we have made recently in terms of increasing employment - including for women and those with disabilities - improving standards in schools, and our progress on climate and environment, having decarbonised more than any advanced economy. But, equally, there are real areas for improvement, thinking for example about ensuring the housing market works for everybody, mental health, and supporting a growing and ageing population.
The process has further deepened our respect for and understanding of the Global Goals. Thank you for this opportunity.
|Sustainable Consumption & Production Patterns||CSD-18; CSD-19;|
|Waste Management||CSD-18; CSD-19;|
|Industrial Development||CSD-14; CSD-15;|
|Human Settlements||CSD-12; CSD-13;|
|Country Profile 2002|
|National Assessment Report for WSSD|
|Pre-WSSD National Report|
|Full Report||CSD-18; CSD-19;|
The UK is absolutely committed to playing our part and to working with our international partners.At home: we are on track to deliver our commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on official development assistance to developing countries from 2013. As part of this, I am announcing that the British Government will provide up to £150 million to the International Fund for Agriculture Development’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme.(Statement made by Nick Clegg, Deputy of Prime Minister, Government of UK, at the Plenary Speech, delivered at Rio+20 Summit 21st June 2012. available at: Nick...[more]
The British High Commission (BHC) has a strong interest in supporting community projects in Samoa that involve renewable energy, enhanced climate resilience and the potential for building sustainable economic opportunity. In 2012 the BHC provided funding for a demonstration project in Piu Village to prove that an invasive vine (merremia) could be a feedstock resource to produce biogas that could be used in cooking and lighting for village households. This demonstration system was installed in early 2013 by BHC's project partner BioEnceptionz Ltd of Wellington, New Zealand. (BioEnceptionz is a ...[more]
The best opportunity to slow the rate of near-term warming globally and in sensitive regions such as the Arctic is by cutting emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – most notably methane, black carbon and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Widespread reductions, which complement the need for aggressive global action on carbon dioxide, contribute significantly to the goal of limiting warming to less than two degrees. Reducing SLCPs can also advance national priorities such as protecting air quality and public health, promoting food security, enhancing energy efficiency, and allevi...[more]
The UK's Climate Change Act is the world's first long-term legally binding framework to tackle the dangers of climate change. Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK The UK has passed legislation that introduces the world's first long-term legally binding framework to tackle the dangers of climate change. The Climate Change Bill became law in 2008. The Climate Change Act creates a new approach to managing and responding to climate change in the UK, by: setting ambitious, legally binding targets; taking powers to help meet those targets; strengthening the institutional framework; ...[more]
The United Kingdom commits to delivering a package of measures that will help to provide Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions with accurate hydrographic and scientific date relating to their marine environment, as well as training and capacity building for national bodies involved in the research and management of marine resources, to enable them to use the data to promote economic growth and development. The information collected will be used to inform the development of national plans for the marine economy, allowing SIDS to de...[more]
The Daniel Iroegbu Global Dental Health Care Foundation (DIGDHEF) will, together with its partners, mobilise and engage communities and schools to improve health, water, sanitation, and environmental hygiene, as well as to create awareness of gender-based violence (GBV) in schools & communities and engage young people to become agents of GBV change in their broader communities.
Initiated in 2003, London's congestion charge system aims to reduce inner-city traffic and prevent pollution. Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011 Initiated in 2003, London's congestion charge system aims to reduce inner-city traffic and prevent pollution. The system requires a daily charge for people driving within an eight-square-mile zone of central London. Revenues are used to support London's transport system. The zone ...[more]
"Enabling the transition to a green economy: government and business working together" sets out the government's approach to building the green economy and forms part of the continuing dialogue between government, business and communities on how to tackle the important issue of moving to a Green Economy. Source: UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs "Enabling the transition to a green economy: government and business working together" sets out the government's approach to building the green economy and forms part of the continuing dialogue between government, business and commun...[more]
The UK's Energy Act, which updates the country's energy legislation, came into action in 2008. Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK The Energy Act updates energy legislation to: reflect the availability of new technologies (such as carbon capture and storage and emerging renewable technologies); correspond with the UK's changing requirements for secure energy supply (such as offshore gas storage); and to protect the environment and the tax payer as the energy market changes The act was updated in 2010 to, for example, include provisions on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
The general objective of the Commission is to promote the effective conservation, management and development of the living marine resources of the area of competence of the Commission, in accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and address common problems of fisheries management and development faced by members of the Commission. 16 of WECAFC's 35 members are considered small island developing States.
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data is multi-stakeholder network of more than 150 data champions harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development. Its members represent the full range of data producers and users, including governments, companies, civil society groups, international organizations, academic institutions, foundations, statistics agencies and data communities. The Global Partnership serves as an invaluable convener, connector and catalyst, building trust and encouraging collaboration among stakeholders to fill critical data gaps and ensure data is acc...[more]
The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]
London is the first summer Host City to embed sustainability in its planning from the start. The London Summer Olympics in 2012 will incorporate sustainability on a broad scale into almost every planning and logistical aspect of the event. Source: Shanghai Manual: A Guide for Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century (2010) London embedded sustainability into its official bid for the 2012 games and committed to using already existing venues throughout the UK where possible and to only build permanent structures that will have long-term use after the games. The Sustainability Pl...[more]
The UK's Green Economy Council, set up to support the transition to a green, low carbon economy, held its first meeting in February 2011. Source: The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, published in 2009, plots how the UK will meet the 34 percent cut in emissions on 1990 levels by 2020. UK emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol were 22.0 per cent lower in 2008 than in the base year, down from 779.9 to 608.4 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. The Plan shows how reductions in the power sector and heavy industry, transport, homes and communities, workp...[more]
The UK Government commits strongly to marine conservation and ensuring that UK waters are managed and used in a sustainable way, including by working internationally with our Overseas Territories in order to protect the globally significant biodiversity found in their waters. Domestically, we have been working hard to deliver a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in UK waters, which currently includes 297 MPAs covering an area of just over 206,000 square kilometers. This MPA coverage represents 23% of UK waters; more than double the 10% target for coastal and marine areas set out in th...[more]
One Planet Middlesbrough is an ambitious green economy initiative aiming to promote more sustainable lifestyles and council services within this UK borough. Source: The initiative was launched as a partnership with BioRegional in 2011, The initiative seeks to support residents in their efforts to move towards healthy, happy lifestyles living within a fair share of the Earth's resources, what we call one planet living. Middlesbrough aims to enable one planet living for its residents by 2025 and is the world's second official One Planet Region after the London Borough of Sutton was accredited i...[more]
This scheme defines sustainable development as enhancing the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of people and communities, achieving a better quality of life for our own and future generations. Source: Parliament of United Kingdom "One Wales: One Planet" affirms that sustainable development will be the central organising principle of the Welsh Assembly Government and sets out the steps that will be taken to fully embed this approach. This scheme also confirms that sustainable development is the overarching strategic aim of all policies and programmes, across all Ministerial portfol...[more]
Partners for Water and Sanitation's aim is to help improve access to safe water and sanitation for people in four African countries, using expertise from the UK water industry. PAWS is a not-for-profit partnership whose members come from government, private sector and civil society. PAWS uses the wide range of skills from these partners to provide advice and support to projects on the request of our partner countries. PAWS works on projects that aim to build capacity through knowledge transfer in the water and sanitation sector to help to provide a sustainable solution. Mission Statement...[more]
The Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP) is an informal network of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, UN organisations and international NGOs. The PEP seeks to integrate poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and climate resilience in global, national and local development agendas. With agreement to the SDGs , the PEP is launching a ‘getting to zero’ call to action—a unifying vision for the SDGs of reaching zero extreme poverty, zero net greenhouse gas emissions, and zero net loss of natural assets. This will be the cornerstone of PEP’s future strategy and comm...[more]
Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate targets consist of targets to reduce Government's environmental impact (cutting carbon, waste, water use and procuring sustainably etc) as well as targets to maximise the positive impacts on environment and society (biodiversity, volunteering). Source: UK Government The aims of all of the SOGE targets are for Government to: Lead by example Government must demonstrate leadership in the sustainable management of its estate and use its significant buying power to achieve a low carbon, more resource efficient public sector; and to reduce environmenta...[more]
The British High Commission in Wellington has a strong interest in supporting community projects in Samoa that involve renewable energy, enhanced climate resilience and the potential for building sustainable economic opportunity. Building on our biogas projects of 2012 (below) on 21 October 2013 the Samoan Prime Minister turned the soil at a new site for resource testing centre in Apia. After signing a new agreement between the UK and Samoa, the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Malielegaoi and the then British High Commissioner, HE Mrs Vicki Treadell took their spades and turned the first ...[more]
The Scottish Government aims to create a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth. Source: UNCSD Secretariat (2010) Questionnaire for the Member States on Experiences, Success Factors, Risks and Challenges with Regard to Objective and Themes of UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) The Scottish Government seeks to facilitate the right infrastructure and investment to stimulate sustainable growth and exploit new market opportunities. Scotland is committed to ambitious statutory targets for emissions re...[more]
The UK is currently re-orienting its aid programme to put women at the heart of its development efforts and is focusing rigorously on results, including a review of all bilateral and multilateral aid programmes to maximise impact on mothers and babies. The UK’s new Business Plan for Reproductive Maternal and Newborn Health will set out how the UK aims to increase efforts up to 2015 'to double the number of maternal, newborn and children's lives saved. It is anticipated that UK aid will save the lives of at least 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth, a quarter of a million newborn babies ...[more]
The UK has committed to several actions in order to combat marine litter, including reducing the volume of single use plastic bags and the introduction of national litter strategies. The UK completed a consultation on proposals to ban microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products which cause harm to the marine environment in February 2017 and will use the responses received to inform our approach. Our consultation also asked for evidence on other sources of marine microplastics. The evidence received will help develop future UK actions on marine litter. We have also just published a N...[more]
The UK pledges to work actively with international partners in a range of major issues such as strengthening global ocean observations, world ocean assessments and data sharing. Strengthening our scientific understanding of ongoing ocean changes and their impact on economies will enable more appropriate and coordinated policies to be developed that ensure the sustainable use of the oceans and seas. We pledge to use the opportunities presented by the development of new technologies, such as through the development of autonomous and robotic sampling platforms, new sensors for biogeochemical a...[more]
WSUP's mission is to advance the Millennium Development Goals for water, sanitation, and associated health benefits through multi-sector, stakeholder partnerships delivering sustainable, equitable, and affordable water and sanitation services to the urban poor in developing countries.