15 – 18 yo
Want to learn how you can make the world a better place? Are you itching to become a sustainability superstar? Then these are the goals for you! Set up by the United Nations in September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pave the way to achieving a better and more sustainable future for everyone.
These goals address the long-term challenges we’re currently facing, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental protection, peace and justice. The timeframe set for the SDGs is to achieve the targets by 2030.
The SDGs act as a sort of “to-do-list” of 17 goals, broken down into a grand total of 169 targets. These are more numerous and detailed than the Millennium Development Goals that were adopted in 2000 at the UN’s Millennium Summit. The goals are all important and interlinked, each one of them being fundamental in achieving a sustainable future for us all.
The SDGs can be seen as a compass towards sustainable development, concentrating on three key areas:
1. the economy (to put an end to poverty);
2. society (the fight against inequality and injustice);
3. the environment (addressing the climate crisis).
The SDGs will unite richer and poorer countries, governments, communities and people around the world in order to achieve their targets. Their realisation is endorsed not only by the international community and by national governments, but also by NGOs and smaller organisations that work at more regional or local levels.
So what can you do to help? Individuals can contribute by joining an organisation that actively contributes to reaching the SDGs, setting up grass-roots initiatives, adopting sustainable daily habits or by organising clean-up campaigns to promote greener lifestyles. Reducing your carbon footprint is also essential. This can be done by taking the train instead of the plane and your bike instead of a car. Reducing your waste and buying local is also important; limit the amount of plastic you buy and make sure what you’re purchasing is produced in fair and sustainable ways.
The SDGs are about promoting a better quality of life for everybody. That’s why a large part of the goals are devoted to societal challenges. It’s important to show compassion and stand up to racism, exclusion, discrimination and injustice. We must spread the word about the SDGs so other people can also take action and contribute to achieving the targets, making the world a better place by 2030.