WWF reaction following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals
NEW YORK -- In response to today’s announcement from the United Nations that 193 member states formally adopted the global plan, Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, WWF released the following statement from Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International:
“Game-changing government decisions that benefit both people and the environment come along very rarely and never before at this scale and level of ambition. Today’s decision is about survival. It’s a history-making moment that could fundamentally change how we treat our planet and all of its people.
“We all own this plan and together can make it a reality – a message underscored by His Holiness Pope Francis’ moving address to the General Assembly shortly before formal agreement by all 193 member states.
“Now world leaders must sustain this political courage at home and make the right choices, committing to a total economic, social and environmental overhaul.
“Today’s celebration must translate into delivery and quickly. For these goals to become a reality, decision-makers must demonstrate their intention to implement the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals is real and make their efforts transparent through careful follow-up and review.
“Bottom line: The world came together today and demonstrated that real solutions are both conceivable and attainable when we work as one and put politics aside. Now let’s make this happen together.”
Commenting on the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Geneviève Pons-Deladrière, Director of the WWF European Policy Office said:
“The Sustainable Development Goals are a unique opportunity to strengthen Europe’s commitment to sustainable development. After long and hard negotiations with world leaders, we call on the First Vice-President Timmermans to show leadership and turn the new global goals into reality.
The EU has an oversized environmental footprint, with an inefficient production and consumption system that uses the natural resources of 2.6 planets and depletes resources elsewhere. We need to move to a new model that ensures a fairer, and more efficient way of living within the boundaries of one planet. The implementation of the new global goals will have high costs, but the cost of inaction would be far higher.”
Notes to the editor:
WWF’s asks to the European Union:
- WWF calls for an active involvement of first Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who has been given the mandate of sustainable development, to turn the new global goals into reality by ensuring that all policies support and do not undermine the objective of sustainable development. Together with hundreds of organisations from all over Europe and from many different sectors, WWF has written to Vice-President Frans Timmermans asking him to show leadership in transforming the ambition of the SDGs into a reality in the EU. Read the letter here
- An ambitious and long-term strategy by the European Commission to implement the goals and targets adopted in New York, in consultation with relevant stakeholders including civil society.
- A comprehensive and far-reaching circular economy package to deliver on the sustainable consumption and production elements of the 2030 Agenda.
- Allocation of resources, public and private, domestic and international, to be done in a different and more effective way and getting rid of expenditures which currently promote unsustainable development inside and outside the EU. For example, across the whole of the EU, the scale of fossil fuel subsidies – at €60 billion in 2011 – is six times the level of public climate finance, €9.5 billion, committed in 2013 by the EU.
- EU policy coherence for sustainable development: EU policies in areas such as trade, agriculture, energy and investment, which are impacting negatively on people and environment in developing countries, need to be re-assessed.
- Close to 40% of the EU budget is devoted to agriculture, with the industrial farming as main receiving sector. Currently agriculture subsidies are largely contributing to environmentally harmful practices and increasing costs of agricultural pollution. It is calculated that agricultural soil degradation in the EU costs €38 billion a year; and the excess of nitrogen in water is valued at €320 billion a year, of which farming is responsible for half. The EU should ensure full consistency of CAP subsidies with the EU environmental policies and the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Foster Corporate Social Responsibilities of EU companies operating within and outside of the EU: The activities of EU companies abroad including in investment in extractive industries such as logging, mining and fisheries should also be consistent with sustainability criteria.
For further information or media requests, please contact:
Alba Málaga Homs
Communications & New Media Officer
WWF European Policy Office
Phone: +32 2 743 88 13
Mobile: + 32 484641060
Head, Development Policy & Finance
WWF European Policy Office
Phone: +32 2 740 09 37
Mobile: +32 496 126 805
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