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Sustainable Development Goals

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global agenda, adopted by countries in 2015, with a vision of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. 

The 17 SDGs and 169 targets are part of what is known as the 2030 Agenda, which recognizes "that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development." In adopting the agenda, countries resolved to take the "bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind."

The goals and targets are universal, meaning they apply to all countries around the world, not just poor countries. Reaching the goals requires action on all fronts – governments, businesses, civil society and people everywhere all have a role to play.

Discover how IISD research products relate to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals in different regions of the world.

  • Briefing Note
    Cities - The engines for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

    Cities - The engines for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

    Cities play a critical role in advancing sustainability through the actual implementation of solutions that bring together the social, environmental and economic aspects of development.

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  • Briefing Note
    Indicator Preferences in National Reporting of Progress Toward the Sustainable Development Goals

    Indicator Preferences in National Reporting of Progress Toward the Sustainable Development Goals

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are intended to offer an ambitious and transformational agenda for our common future through 2030. In this brief, we review countries’ voluntary reviews to the HLPF to identify  the indicators that countries have actually been using in their reports to date, and data attached to those indicators. 

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  • Infographic
    Mind the Gap: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Could Fill the SDG Financing Gap

    Mind the Gap: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Could Fill the SDG Financing Gap

    Research suggests that removing all consumer fossil fuel subsidies would decrease global carbon emissions anywhere between 6–8 per cent by 2050. Swapping savings into sustainable energy would improve emissions reductions further.

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  • Speech
    IISD Speech: President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the UN Economic and Social Council, 2017 Integrated Segment, New York

    IISD Speech: President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the UN Economic and Social Council, 2017 Integrated Segment, New York

    IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan speaking at the UN ESOSOC 2017 Integration Segment on May 8, 2017 in New York.

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  • Speech
    IISD Speech: IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region, Geneva

    IISD Speech: IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region, Geneva

    IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan speaking at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region in Geneva on April 25, 2017.

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  • Blog
    How Can We Successfully Integrate the Sustainable Development Goals Into Our Current Policies?

    How Can We Successfully Integrate the Sustainable Development Goals Into Our Current Policies?

    How can we make sure that the Sustainable Development Goals are part of our governments' polices?

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  • Blog
    How Can the SDGs Contribute to Gender Equality?

    How Can the SDGs Contribute to Gender Equality?

    How are the Sustainable Development Goals looking to ensure gender equity. This International Women's Day, Livia Bizikova takes a look.

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  • Blog
    Taking the Leap to Realign Trade and Sustainable Development: Now is the time

    Taking the Leap to Realign Trade and Sustainable Development: Now is the time

    Senior Fellow Mark Halle explains why now, at this critical juncture, is the time to realign the trade sector and the concerns of the sustainable development agenda.

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  • Interactive
    Sustainable Development Goals Interactive Tool

    Sustainable Development Goals Interactive Tool

    Discover how IISD research products relate to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals in different regions of the world.

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  • Commentary
    IISD Perspectives on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

    IISD Perspectives on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

    As the Sustainable Development Goals were in the final hours of negotiation in 2015, and in the early days of implementation in 2016, IISD experts reflected on the implications for countries, the UN system, and our own programs of work. These articles, first published as a series of blog postings, are the outward expression of that thought process. 

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