Sustainable Development Goals in the UK A report from the Environmental audit Committee

We are the Environmental Audit Committee. We scrutinise the UK Government on environmental protection and sustainable development.

For the last few months we've been looking into what action the Government should take to implement the Sustainable Development Goals in the UK.

We've heard evidence from academics, charities, the private sector and Government ministers & officials.

We are recommending that the Government:

Drive awareness and facilitate engagement with the Goals

Show greater leadership from the top

Increase transparency on its plans and progress

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

They are a 15 year plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.

There are 17 Goals and 169 targets covering issues from gender inequality to climate change.

They balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.

They are universal applying to everyone, everywhere and they focus on leaving no one behind.

“They will make us the first generation to end extreme poverty, the last generation to be threatened by climate change, and the most determined generation to fight injustice and inequality.”

[Richard Curtis, Co-founder of Project Everyone]

We have a lot of work to do between now and 2030 in order to achieve the Goals in the UK.

Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Target 11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services.

A third of rented homes in the England do not meet the Government's Decent Homes Standard.

Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

Target 8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.

In the North East of England 18.9% of 16-24 year olds are not in education, employment or training. It's 10.7% in the South East.

Goal 2 Zero Hunger

Target 2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.

3 million people in the UK are malnourished. 1.3 million are elderly.

To raise awareness and engagement the Government should:

Work with national media organisations to launch a national campaign to raise public awareness of the Goals.

Support initiatives designed to encourage businesses and others to contribute towards meeting the Goals.

To improve transparency the Government should:

Appoint a Senior Minister in the Cabinet Office with strategic responsibility for implementing the Goals across Government.

Publish a report setting out how it intends to take an integrated, cross-government and policy-coherent approach to implementing the Goals in the UK.

Establish an independent advisor on sustainable development in the form of a new statutory public body advising the responsible minister and the Prime Minister.

We delivered these recommendations to the Government on 26th April 2017. The next Government will respond within a few months.

Environmental Audit Committee, Sustainable Development Goals in the UK, HC 596

Photo Credits (top to bottom):

  • Gettyimages
  • UK Parliament
  • Project Everyone
  • UN Photo
  • milos lach
  • benbobjr
  • Hadiyaa Malik, courtesy of the Hepworth Gallery
  • Project Everyone
  • The Prime Minister's Office
  • Project Everyone
  • Project Everyone


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