EU needs overarching strategy for implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Posted on 29 February 2016

WWF is calling for a high-profile EU strategy and overarching framework for the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
EU needs strong overarching strategy for implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - WWF Position Paper
Brussels, 29 February 2016
In a position paper released today, WWF calls for a high-profile EU strategy and overarching framework for the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The Agenda provides a unique opportunity to align EU policies on sustainable development, economy and the environment, the paper says.
“The Sustainable Development Agenda has the power to transform our model of development, and must shape the EU’s 2030 strategy. It should also be at the heart of the Circular Economy Package and the review of the Europe 2020 strategy, said Geneviève Pons, Director of WWF’s European Policy Office.
It is crucial for Europe’s credibility and leadership that it announces its plans for implementation of the Agenda ahead of the High-Level Political Forum in July 2016, where all governments will report progress,” Pons added.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by 195 countries and the EU in New York last autumn are universal and indivisible, and all governments are thus responsible for the achievement of all the goals in their domestic context and abroad. The EU and its Member States demanded an ambitious, integrated and transformative outcome at the UN intergovernmental negotiations, and an EU strategy should now be underpinned by an analysis of how far the EU and its Member States are from achieving the SDGs.
Reaching the SDGs in Europe will require EU countries to achieve full employment, end all forms of discrimination, increase the share of renewable energy and resource efficiency across sectors, conserve and restore ecosystems, retrofit industries and infrastructures to make them sustainable and halve food waste among other things. Externally, the EU will need to address its ecological footprint and the impact of its policies globally (for example, policies in the areas of trade, security or agriculture) to support the delivery of sustainable development in other countries.
EU Environment Ministers have a first opportunity to show they appreciate the importance of the 2030 Agenda and the impact it should have on EU policy at their meeting this week.
“Implementing the 2030 Agenda does not require a whole new suite of policies and legislation, but we are calling for a more coherent and effective way to bring about long-term human development without degrading the planet on which that development depends,” said Sally Nicholson, Head of EU Development Policy at WWF’s European Policy Office. “Moreover, national and EU budgets have to support the delivery of the SDGs, and participatory and transparent mechanisms to guide implementation and monitor and review progress need to be put in place.”
The position paper also emphasises that countries must embrace the whole of the 2030 Agenda – including the principles of leaving no one behind, intergenerational equity and respecting planetary boundaries, and the means of implementation and the monitoring, accountability and review.

Read the position paper

Notes to the editor
Background on SDGs & Sustainable Development Agenda
The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “Transforming our World” takes forward the Rio+20 outcomes and the Millennium Development Goals.  It aims to set the world on a new path to sustainable development with global responsibility for action for people, planet, prosperity and peace.  
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The EU took a strong joint position in the international negotiations for this Agenda, emphasising the integrated nature of the three dimensions of sustainable development (social, economic and environment) and pledged to deliver through its domestic and external actions.

For more information, please contact:
Sarah Azau, Communications and Media Officer - Climate and Energy, WWF European Policy Office,, +32 2 743 88 06 / +32 473 57 31 37

Sally Nicholson, Head, Development Policy & Finance, WWF European Policy Office,,+32 2 740 09 37

Twitter: @WWFEU

Metal recycling in Germany
© Edward Parker / WWF Canon