The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations were adopted in 2015 and are to be achieved by 2030. All 193 UN member startes have signed this program, also known as Agenda 2030. The 17 goals cover all major topics, are further refined in 169 sub-goals and represent the guidelines for governments to leave behind a planet worth living on for future generations.

Despite considerable successes in the fight against poverty since 1990, over 800 million people are still living in extreme poverty, around 70% of whom are women. The ambition of the new Agenda for Sustainable Development is to eradicate extreme poverty completely by 2030. In order to tackle the problem of poverty comprehensively, Goal 1 includes not only the eradication of extreme poverty but also a sub-goal on the eradication of relative poverty, which is based on national definitions. read more

Although the situation has improved in many countries, many people around the world still go hungry or suffer from malnutrition. Malnutrition affects almost 800 million people worldwide, most of whom are women and children. The 2030 Agenda has set itself the goal of ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition in the world over the next 15 years. In view of the rapidly increasing global demand for food, it is estimated that global food production will have to more than double by 2050. read more

The SDGs have made a significant contribution to improving health worldwide, e.g. in the fight against diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. For example, deaths from malaria have fallen by 60% since 2000. Nevertheless, the results in many areas, such as the reduction of child and maternal mortality, have fallen short of expectations. The experience of the SDGs teaches us that health problems should not be considered individually, but as a whole. Education and food security have been proven to influence the success of health programmes. read more

The international community has recognised the importance of quality education and training. Quality basic education and vocational training is central to improving the living conditions of individuals, communities and society as a whole. Goal 4 is based on the findings of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In addition to primary education for all children, it aims to ensure that basic education and vocational education and training are harmonised. read more

Gender inequality is one of the biggest obstacles to sustainable development, economic growth and poverty reduction. Thanks to MDG 3 on gender equality and the empowerment of women, considerable progress has been made in enrolling girls in school and integrating women into the labour market. Gender equality gained high visibility through MDG 3. However, due to the narrow focus of the goal, important issues such as violence against women, economic inequality and the low participation of women in political decision-making structures were not addressed. read more

Access to drinking water and sanitation is a human right and, together with water as a resource, a crucial factor for all aspects of social, economic and environmental development. The targets on drinking water and sanitation have been integrated into the MDGs, but other aspects crucial to sustainable development in this area have not been addressed. These aspects include water resource management, sanitation, water quality and reducing vulnerability to water-related diseases. read more

Access to energy is an essential prerequisite for the realisation of many sustainable development goals. The goals go far beyond the energy sector: overcoming poverty, increasing food production, providing clean water, improving public health, expanding the education system, promoting the economy and empowering women. Today, 1.6 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity and 2.5 billion people depend on traditional biomass as a source of energy. read more

According to current data, over 200 million people worldwide are unemployed, especially young people. Labor and economic growth contribute significantly to the fight against poverty. The promotion of sustainable growth, a green economy and the creation of sufficient decent jobs, while respecting human rights and planetary boundaries, are of central importance for developing countries as well as for emerging and industrialised countries. read more

Investments in sustainable infrastructure and in scientific and technological research increase economic growth, create jobs and promote prosperity. Over the next 15 years, infrastructure projects totalling billions of euros are planned in developing and emerging countries. Goal 9 is about building resilient infrastructure and promoting sustainable industrialisation and innovation. In order to make infrastructures and industries sustainable, resources are to be used more efficiently and clean, environmentally friendly technologies and industrial processes promoted by 2030. read more

Global inequalities are huge and one of the biggest obstacles to sustainable development and poverty reduction. In recent years, inequalities have increased within many countries. Inequalities limit the opportunities of social groups to participate in social, cultural, political and economic life and to make a meaningful contribution to it. Goal 10 therefore focuses on reducing inequalities within and between countries. read more

Urbanisation is one of the most significant developments of the 21st century. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and this figure is expected to rise to up to 70% by 2050. Cities are key drivers of local and national economies and hubs of prosperity. More than 80% of global economic activity is concentrated in cities. At the same time, urbanisation brings with it major challenges. Cities have an enormous ecological footprint. read more

The world’s population currently consumes more resources than ecosystems can provide. In order for social and economic development to take place within the carrying capacity of ecosystems, the way in which our society produces and consumes goods must be fundamentally changed. Goal 12 calls for the implementation of the UN’s ten-year program for sustainable consumption and production patterns. The environmentally sound handling of chemicals and all waste should be achieved. The volume of waste should be significantly reduced through recycling. read more

Climate change is a key challenge for sustainable development. The warming of the earth’s atmosphere is triggering changes in the global climate system. In less developed regions of the world, these jeopardise the livelihoods of large sections of the population, while in developed regions it is primarily the infrastructure and individual sectors of the economy that are exposed to the risks of climate change. Changes in precipitation and temperature cycles also affect ecosystems such as forests, cultivated agricultural areas, mountain regions and oceans, as well as the plants, animals and people that live in them. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased by over 50% between 1990 and 2012. weiterlesen

Pollution and overexploitation of the oceans are causing increasing problems, such as the acute threat to biodiversity, acidification of the oceans and increasing plastic waste. In addition to industrial fishing and the industrial utilisation of marine resources, climate change is putting increasing pressure on ecosystems. A growing world population will be even more dependent on resources from the oceans in the future. Goal 14 calls for all forms of marine pollution to be significantly reduced and ocean acidification to be minimised by 2025. read more

The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are crucial for social and economic development as well as for the survival of humanity. However, statistics show a constant decline in biodiversity and loss of forests. The loss of forest area threatens human well-being, particularly affecting the rural poor, including indigenous and local communities. Biodiversity and forests contribute to poverty reduction by enabling food security and health, providing clean air and water and storing CO2 emissions. Biodiversity is the basis for ecological development. read more

Without peaceful and inclusive societies and good governance, development is demonstrably unsustainable. Conflict-affected countries are the furthest away from achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Conversely, it has been shown in many other countries that the restoration of peace and accountable institutions has contributed significantly to the achievement of the MDGs. Goal 16 therefore aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies by 2030. To this end, Goal 16 calls for the reduction of all forms of violence, the elimination of torture and the fight against all forms of organised crime. read more

In order to successfully implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a comprehensive financing basis is required that goes beyond public development aid funds. In addition to public and private funds, politics should also make a greater contribution to achieving the goals. In July 2015, the international community agreed on a new framework for financing and implementing sustainable development – the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. In Goal 17, the developed countries renew their commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of their gross national income on official development assistance. read more