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Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

The UK is committed to the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. The most effective way to do this is by ensuring that the Goals are fully embedded in planned activity of each Government department. The most effective mechanism for coordinating implementation is the departmental planning process.

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a historic global agreement to eradicate extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and leave no one behind. Agreed by world leaders at the UN in 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SDGs are universal with all signatories expected to contribute to them internationally and deliver them domestically.

The UK was at the forefront of negotiating the SDGs and will be at the forefront of delivering them. The UK lobbied hard to make sure the SDGs support the continuation of work undertaken through the MDGs.

The UK Government published a Voluntary National Review reporting on the UK’s progress so far on delivering the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in June 2019. This is due to be presented at the UN High Level Political Forum in July 2019.

Below you can see some of the ways that the Government is supporting the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

How we will achieve this
Strive to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 and support the world’s poorest people to access sustainable basic services
Work with partners to promote a multilateral economic, financial and trading system for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth
Promote fairness in the labour market, improved working conditions and greater earning power for all
Support the most disadvantaged and enhance social mobility by designing and delivering inclusive policies for all; supporting families and providing effective housing support
Build a more prosperous society by supporting people to enter into, and progress in, work
HMRC will continue work with HM Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions on the transition to Universal Credit, making this as smooth as possible for staff and claimants
Continue to implement the Homelessness Reduction Act, increasing the help available to those at risk of homelessness or experiencing homelessness

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

How we will achieve this
Lead the world in food and farming with a sustainable model of food production
Develop a domestic agriculture policy that delivers an Environmental Land Management system based on public money for public goods
Lead the world in food and farming with a sustainable model of food production
Work to promote healthy lives, end malnutrition and uphold human dignity and promote prosperity. This includes strengthening the Global Financing Facility

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

How we will achieve this
Support schools and colleges in developing character, resilience and wellbeing in young people
Connect people with the environment to improve health and wellbeing, including the Children and Nature Programme with DfE, and the Mental Health Programme with Public Health England and NHS England
Keep people safe, leading global health and international relations including EU exit
Keep people healthy and independent in their communities, supporting the transformation of NHS primary, community and mental health services, and local authority public health and adult social care
Support the NHS to deliver high quality, safe and sustainable hospital care and secure the right workforce
Ministry of Justice will work with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Public Health England to ensure all offenders get the mental health and drug and alcohol abuse treatment they need

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

How we will achieve this
Provide global leadership on girls’ education which is key to progress in so many countries, including by continuing to spearhead the cross-government global girls’ education campaign, Leave No Girl Behind, in partnership with the FCO
Provide targeted, place-based support, across the Department for Education’s remit from early years through to post-16 and skills, in the areas that need it, including through our opportunity areas
Promote the educational outcomes of disadvantaged children and young people including through implementing the commitments made in response to the Timpson review to ensure schools can support children at risk of exclusion, and ensure they have access to high-quality education after exclusion
Deliver T Levels as a gold standard for technical and professional excellence, ensuring our young people can access a world-class education whichever route they choose
Promote digital skills and inclusion by continuing to tackle the root causes of digital exclusion and increasing digital capability
Promote a diverse and inclusive culture across defence, allowing everyone to reach their potential, and ensuring the armed forces better reflect the society they serve
Make effective use of the new prison education reforms and complete the rollout of the New Futures Network, to increase the number of prisoners in education or employment during their sentences which improves employment opportunities on release

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

How we will achieve this
Reduce disadvantage, improve equality and tackle discrimination through the work of the Race Disparity Unit and the Government Equalities Office
Continue to place gender equality at the heart of all that the Department for International Development does, integrating gender equality across programmes and ensuring implementation of the Strategic Vision for Gender Equality
Drive diversity and participation in the labour market by removing barriers to under-represented groups achieving their full potential at work. These include transparency, flexibility from employers, as well as statutory entitlements
Maintain a gender-balanced Honours list and at least 10% of awards to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) nominees, as well as improving the number of women and BAME nominees at the higher levels, and tackling regional disparities
Continue to promote diversity and accountability in the boardroom, supporting business-led initiatives to improve access to business leadership roles for under-represented groups
Promote gender equality, including the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative
Introduce legislation to protect domestic abuse victims
Work with partners across government to deliver the Female Offender Strategy

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

How we will achieve this
Pass on to the next generation a natural environment protected and enhanced for the future
Maintain the high level of environmental protection achieved to date, through preventative action to avoid deterioration of the water environment and reversing deterioration when it occurs
Ensure resilient, sustainable, affordable water services to homes and businesses, through a strategic framework for water sector planning and investment, and a strengthened regulatory framework
Ensure access to water and sanitation for all to meet basic needs

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

How we will achieve this
Promote UK leadership on science and innovation, including through working with BEIS, to boost UK prosperity and deliver solutions to global challenges
Help deliver a doubling of global public funding of clean energy Research, Development and Demonstration under the Mission Innovation Initiative
Set out a vision for the energy system consistent with the government’s 2050 climate goals, with concrete actions that government will take up to 2030
Work with business, academia and civil society to deliver the Clean Growth Strategy, our legally binding greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets and the Clean Growth Challenge of the Industrial Strategy
Ensure that smart meters are offered to every household and small business by the end of 2020, giving people control over their energy bills that they have not had before
Become the first major economy to legislate for net zero. Maintain the UK’s position as a global leader in cutting emissions while growing the economy, and develop world leading sectors to drive clean growth across the UK

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

How we will achieve this
Support UK businesses to grow internationally in a sustainable way
Support the creation of a stronger, cleaner, more productive economy
Deliver the government’s Good Work Plan, announced in December 2018, acting on virtually all recommendations of the Matthew Taylor Review, focusing on ensuring fair and decent work, clarity for workers and employers and fairer enforcement. This also includes implementing secondary legislation reforms to protect agency workers
Increase economic growth by encouraging innovation, addressing current and future cyber threats and establishing the conditions needed for a sustainable industry funded model
Increase employment and productivity, ensuring strong growth and competitiveness across all regions of the UK through a comprehensive package of structural reforms, taking advantage of the opportunities provided by leaving the EU
Support UK businesses by ensuring the flow of trade is preserved through cross-government contingency planning, whilst keeping our borders secure and ensuring collection of any tax and duties
Keep the Government on course to meet its fiscal rules by reducing the structural deficit below 2% of GDP and get debt falling by 2020/21, guiding the UK to a balanced budget by the middle of the next decade

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

How we will achieve this
Build resilient Overseas Territories with good governance, increasingly diversified economies and prosperous communities, able to better prepare for and recover from crisis
Harness digital technologies to drive inclusive economic growth and alleviate poverty, including through a technology accelerator programme to bring UK and African entrepreneurs together to learn from each other
Support world leading science and innovation by agreeing a roadmap to meet the 2.4% R&D investment target by 2027
Support growth and security through international partnerships in digital, tech, cultural and creative industries
Support research and innovation to maximise health and economic productivity
DfE will work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to support the implementation of the Industrial Strategy, by reforming the skills system to deliver skills demanded by employers, and needed to boost productivity
Invest in local infrastructure to unlock new homes, including through delivery of the Housing Infrastructure Fund
Department for Transport will work across the UK with local, regional and devolved partners to meet national and regional ambitions and maximise the value of public investment
Department for Transport and Highways England will work closely to prepare for delivery of the second Road Investment Strategy covering 2020 to 2025, with plans being published in late 2019

Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries

How we will achieve this
Raise safeguarding standards across the aid and development sector to prevent violence, sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment
Work to champion democracy, human rights, good governance and the rule of law by assisting supporters and using our leverage against abusers
In support of wider government objectives, DHSC will deliver programmes of work for vulnerable groups, including victims of crime and violence, child sexual abuse/exploitation, female genital mutilation, rough sleeping; and lead work to reduce health inequalities, including contributing to the Race Disparity Audit
Continue to be a global leader on disability, delivering on the promises from the Global Disability Summit 2018
Improve outcomes and ensure financial security for disabled people and people with health conditions, so they view the benefits system and the department as an ally
Ensure financial security for current and future pensioners and make Britain the best place in the world to retire
Open markets, building a trade framework with new and existing partners which is free and fair

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

How we will achieve this
DfID will continue to lead the response to humanitarian emergencies and maintain the means to respond rapidly to crises
DfT will help to connect people and places, balancing investment across the country
Make progress on halving rough sleeping by 2022, including by delivering the 2018 Rough Sleeping Strategy
Ensure that the housing market is fairer
Improve public services so that they respond to community needs
Make progress on the commitments in our Integrated Communities Strategy and Action Plan
Ensure the regulatory framework for buildings is both effective and proportionate, with clear oversight in place
Make the UK the safest place in the world to be online through measures to ensure citizens are safe when online, for instance implementing child protection systems and age verification for online pornography

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

How we will achieve this
Continue to show leadership on tackling plastic pollution, including delivering the policies and commitments in the Resources and Waste Strategy
Implement new regulations to tackle waste crime, stop illegal waste activities and reduce illegal waste sites
Take steps to improve energy efficiency in the owner-occupied, privately rented, and social housing sectors, with a view to as many homes as possible reaching Energy Performance Certificate Band C by 2035 where practical, cost-effective and affordable, and all fuel poor homes reaching that level by 2030, so far as reasonably practicable

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

How we will achieve this
Galvanise international action, promoting the role and impact of the 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), including bidding to host it, and taking a global leadership role
Continue to lead international action against climate change, with BEIS and Defra, by demonstrating UK leadership on resilience at the UN Climate Summit
Continue to provide global leadership on climate change including through effective mobilisation of the UK’s £5.8 billion International Climate Finance between 2016 and 2020, and the UK’s bid to host the UN climate conference in 2020
Encourage everyone to play their part in improving our environment, engaging and promoting action at all levels of society through the ‘2019 Year of Green Action
Support the introduction of infrastructure to increase number of electric vehicles in the UK, including through the efficient and cost-effective delivery of grant funding for domestic, on-street, residential and workplace charging points
Deliver the measure set out in the Road to Zero Strategy for the transition to zero emission transport and for the UK to become the best place in the world to develop and manufacture zero emission vehicles

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

How we will achieve this
Work to prevent catastrophic environmental degradation and tackle degradation of habitat and loss of species, including action to address marine plastic pollution with Defra, support to the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund and investment in the Global Environment Facility
Defra will work with BEIS, DfT and Devolved Administrations to implement the OSPAR Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter
Continue to drive UK international leadership on marine plastic pollution through domestic, regional and global action, via UK membership of the G7, G20, UN, OSPAR and the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance
Ensure our seas are cleaner, healthier, safer, more productive and biologically diverse, by implementing the UK Marine Strategy and increasing the proportion of protected and well-managed seas
Develop policy to implement a world-class fisheries management system based on the principle of maximum sustainable yield and help to ensure prosperity for a new generation of fishers
Champion reform of the WTO to enable it to tackle 21st century trade issues, by advocating new rules for digital trade, liberalisation of trade in services, advancing ongoing negotiations on fisheries subsidies, and addressing level playing field issues such as industrial subsidies

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

How we will achieve this
Mainstream biodiversity net gain for developments when granting planning permission
Develop a Nature Recovery Network including creation or restoration of 500,000 hectares of wildlife rich habitat as part of the new Nature Strategy
Protect, improve and expand England’s woodlands, including planting 11 million trees this Parliament and keeping the public forest estate in trust for the nation
Publish the English Tree Strategy to set out how we intend to use a natural capital approach to rural and urban forestry to maximise the biodiversity, water, climate, noise and other benefits trees can provide

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

How we will achieve this
Focus UK effort on National Security Council (NSC) priority countries, advancing inclusive political processes and protecting UK interests in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen
Reduce corruption in developing countries and work to make the UK even more hostile to corrupt funds, working in partnership with others across government, and international partners, to implement the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy
Stop terrorist attacks in this country and against UK interests overseas by disrupting those who wish to engage in terrorist activity
Implement the serious and organised crime strategy to disrupt highest-harm serious and organised criminals and networks by working with partners to increase operating risk for the highest-harm offenders, utilising new data and intelligence capabilities and improving our understanding of criminal markets
Respond to serious violence and recent increases in knife crime, gun crime and homicide by implementing the Serious Violence Strategy
Contribute to the resilience of the UK by supporting the civil authorities and protecting our cyber space and our critical national infrastructure
Keep British citizens safe as we leave the EU by agreeing a comprehensive new security, law enforcement and criminal justice partnership with the EU to fight shared threats from terrorism and organised crime (with the Department for Exiting the European Union, Ministry of Justice and Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
Build strong future relationships with Europe and the rest of the world, secure legal services market access overseas and create the conditions for the UK’s domestic legal services market to flourish

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

How we will achieve this
Conduct a review of intergovernmental relations and governance arrangements for the UK to ensure that mechanisms work for all of the UK
Deliver the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) 2018 commitments; boost the Commonwealth’s voice; increase mutual Commonwealth support in multilateral fora; and reform the Commonwealth Secretariat
Use our funding to, and engagement with, the UN to deliver a more effective and efficient UN development system
Ensuring the stability of the macro-economic environment and financial system, enabling strong, sustainable and balanced growth as we leave the EU
Use trade and investment to underpin the government’s agenda for a Global Britain and its ambitions for prosperity, stability and security worldwide
Continue to invest £800 million in additional work to tackle evasion and non-compliance in the tax system, with a further £155 million of investment announced at Autumn Budget 2017 for future years up to 2019 to 2020
Support UK businesses by ensuring the flow of trade is preserved through cross-government contingency planning, whilst keeping our borders secure and ensuring collection of any tax and duties due