It is universally acknowledged that concerted action from big business and other non-state actors is vital if we are serious about achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Take SDG 13 (climate action) for example: even if all governments manage to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) set under the Paris Agreement, the global average temperature will still increase by 3-4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. A far greater increase than the “well below 2°C” goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement and that we need to meet to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change.
Means of implementation (MOI) for all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are addressed in SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals), SDG targets on MOI under each SDG and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on financing for development (FfD). Together, these agreements provide the normative framework, targets to guide policy directions and indicators to quantitatively assess the mobilization of resources for SDG implementation.
11 July 2017: The 2017 meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), opened on Monday, 10 July 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. The first day featured an opening plenary that reviewed progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; an exchange of regional experiences to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and a thematic review on poverty and inequality.
7 July 2017: The G20 Summit in Hamburg concluded with the adoption of a declaration, sub-titled ‘Shaping an interconnected world,’ on major global economic challenges. Among other issues, the declaration addresses improving sustainable livelihoods by addressing energy and climate, implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and empowering women.
10 July 2017: On the sidelines of the opening day of the 2017 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund organized a side event on the theme, ‘Prosperity in Action: Results from the Sustainable Development Goals Fund.’
8 July 2017: The 40th session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) endorsed the Organization’s programme for work and budget 2018-2019, titled ‘Climate Change and its impact on the work activities of FAO.’
6 July 2017: The University Twinning and Networking Programme (UNITWIN) and UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chairs Programme discussed opportunities for building synergies and cooperation among the Chairs, UNESCO and the UN system to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Conference adopted the ‘Geneva Milestone,’ a blueprint to strengthen UNESCO Natural Science Chairs’ contribution to transformative change and cooperation for the 2030 Agenda.
5 July 2017: Ministers of Education from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) pledged to deepen their cooperation on education, following a meeting in Beijing, China. The Beijing meeting discussed reforming education, promoting equity in education, fostering quality education, and organizing student exchanges. The ‘Beijing Declaration on Education’ reaffirms the commitment of BRICS countries to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 (quality education).
5 July 2017: The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a report, titled ‘In Search of Opportunities: Voices of children on the move in West and Central Africa,’ which addresses the drivers behind regional child migration and displacement, as well as longer-term implications for the region should these population movements intensify with the projected population growth.
3 July 2017: Eleven EU Member States did not comply with EU air pollution limits in 2015, mostly due to motor vehicle emissions and pollution from agricultural sources. The EU standards were set in 2010 and will apply until 2019, after which stricter standards will come into force in 2020. A briefing by the European Environment Agency (EEA) found that 18 out of 23 reporting member states do not consider themselves to be on track to meet the standards that will apply from 2020.
July 2017: In preparation for the 2017 High-level Segment (HLS) of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the UN Secretary-General released a report on regional perspectives on efforts to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality as well as on regional perspectives on global migration as a contribution to the intergovernmental process towards a global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.
July 2017: UN agencies have reviewed the impacts of forestry and hi-tech irrigation technologies on water, and are urging governments and other responsible actors to resolve conflicts, and take control of water resources and allocations. The World Water Council (WWC) has issued its 2016 report, which calls for mainstreaming water in a variety of global agendas, including infrastructure financing, climate action and sustainable development.
June 2017: In its ‘Forest Brief no 18,’ the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) discusses how forest landscape restoration can support achievement of national and international biodiversity-related commitments, including the Aichi biodiversity targets, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) inclusive of the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) target, and commitments under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. The World Bank and Bioversity International have also highlighted projects on landscape restoration.
June 2017: A report by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) finds most countries have yet to fully disconnect economic growth from fossil fuel use and pollutant emissions. OECD underscores that progress is too slow, and if emissions embodied in international trade are included, advances in environmental productivity are more modest.
June 2017: A number of recent developments related to capacity building and technology development and transfer have focused on agriculture and food security. This Update discusses a methodology to track the adoption of climate technologies in the agricultural sector, and climate-smart approaches implemented in Africa and Asia.
June 2017: Climate change adaptation practices, climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and strategies to restart agricultural livelihoods hit by disasters have been at the forefront of recent developments in the field of adaptation and loss and damage.
June 2017: During the month of June, high-level meetings heard pledges by multilateral development banks (MDBs) and governments to work with developing countries and scale up sustainable finance to meet climate goals, and to support the resilience of small island developing States (SIDS).
June 2017: This Update focuses on individual nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries, and related support, events and activities, for the period from February to June 2017.