How the UN Sustainable Development Goals can be reached in and with Norway by 2030.
We have witnessed astonishing advances in recent decades. Poverty has been halved. Fewer people are infected with dangerous diseases. More girls are attending school. There is an increasing demand for renewable energy. This is cause for hope and demonstrates that there are genuine benefits to working to build a better world. At the same time, both human beings and the environment are facing very serious threats.
As a result of war, violence, oppression, extremism, climate change, poverty and natural disasters, a record number of people fled their homes in 2016. The gap between people living in poverty and those living in wealth remains vast, and it continues to increase. The natural environment that we depend upon is being destroyed. If current trends continue, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 and the rainforests will have disappeared. Not least, the climate is changing
faster than anticipated, threatening our access to food and water – the very basis of our existence.
In order to stop climate change and preserve our environment, we must our behaviour, rapidly reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, and reach zero emissions within a few decades. Our politicians are well aware of this. Nevertheless, there is a vast gap between what they say and what they do, even in Norway.
In 2015, world leaders committed their countries to three agreements that are critical for the future of the Earth: the Paris Agreement on the reduction of climate change; the UN Sustainable Development Goals; and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, a framework for financing
sustainable development. Every country has made the commitment to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. If we deliver on our promises, we will have successfully reversed the trend and will be moving in a more sustainable direction.
Despite these agreements, it became apparent in 2016 that the world is divided. Democracy is under pressure, and extremism and populism are on the rise. Limiting global warming to 1.5–2°C will be challenging, especially if the new President of the United States keeps his election
Ours is the first generation that can eradicate extreme poverty, and the last that can end life-threatening climate change. This will require political will, building confidence and a sense of community, knowledge, mobilisation and collaboration across subjects and sectors. None of us
can do this alone.
The members of the Forum for Development and Environment (Forum), a network of 50 Norwegian organisations, will be working on this together. Together we have monitored the work on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and together we possess expert knowledge
about all 17 of the goals.
Thirty years ago this year, the Brundtland Commission’s report, Our Common Future, put “sustainable development” on the world’s agenda. Our Common Future is also Forum’s shared past: our predecessor, the Global Campaign for Earth’s Environment and Development (Felles-kampanjen for jordas miljø og utvikling), was established in the same year to mobilise popular support for the Brundtland Commission’s recommendations.
Sustainable development means meeting today’s needs without compromising opportunities for future generations. What is the status quo today? How well is the legacy of the Brundtland Commission being managed? What can be done?
The following are the annual interdisciplinary recommendations from 50 Norwegian organisations on how the Sustainable Development Goals can be reached by and in Norway. Representatives from these organisations are members of the editorial board: WWF-Norway, Forum for Women and Development (FOKUS), Solidarity Action for Development (FORUT), Debt Justice Norway (SLUG), and The Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment (Forum). In addition, many other organisations have contributed. These recommendations will be shared with the Norwegian government prior to the SDG review at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLFP) in New York in July 2017 and the G20 Summit that will be held during the same month, in which Norway will be participating as a guest
We hope that our recommendations will help to support you in your important work!
The Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment