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MPs say ministers have ‘little interest’ in Sustainable Development Goals

Words: Huw Morris

The government is under fire from MPs for failing to set out a clear plan to deliver Sustainable Development Goals in the UK.

The 17 goals – also known as Global Goals – were agreed at the UN to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change, reduce inequality and make cities inclusive, safe and resilient by 2030.

The Commons Environmental Audit Committee said implementing the goals presents major economic opportunities and could be worth up to US$12 trillion.

The government pledged to work “tirelessly” on implementing the goals in the UK as well as overseas when it adopted them in 2015.

However, the MPs attacked the government’s “doughnut-shaped approach”, which is more concerned with promoting the goals abroad than implementing them at home. It has taken “no substantive work” to encourage businesses, the public sector and civil society, they argue.

They also suggest the government has “little interest in, or enthusiasm for, maximising” the opportunities and benefits from the goals.

“The fact that cabinet-level ministers were not willing to appear before the committee was a worrying sign that this issue is being quietly dropped in government,” said the committee.

It called on the government to publish a report on how it intends to implement the goals across departments and for a cabinet-level minister to be appointed with strategic responsibility for sustainable development.

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