Accounting bodies urge UK Government to deliver on Sustainable Development Goals

Eleven of the world’s leading accountancy and finance professional bodies have called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to boost international policies and frameworks in a bid to help achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Accounting bodies urge UK Government to deliver on Sustainable Development Goals

In an open letter from the accounting bodies, the Prime Minister has been urged to show global leadership in facilitating the transformation to a world where the SDGs are realised.

Signatories to the letter include the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), the Association of International Accountants (AIA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). ICAEW alone represents more than 202,000 members and students around the world.

ICAEW’s chief executive Michael Izza said: “The UN report shows we are nowhere near halfway to achieving the SDGs by the 2030 deadline, which is not only a crisis in the making for people and planet, but also for our economies and global financial ecosystems.

“As accounting and finance professionals working across all areas of the economy, we know first-hand the costs of inaction to the businesses and organisations we lead and advise, so we urge the government to take steps to put us back on track. We are ready to use our skills and expertise to help reshape business practices and implement the changes needed to drive progress.”

The open letter was sent as world leaders gather in New York today (18 September) for the UN’s 2023 SDG Summit. The letter reiterates that, globally, the SDGs are nowhere near close to being achieved.

In response, the letter urges Sunak to take up a leadership role. It also calls on the new Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Claire Coutinho to help scale up climate finance internationally. Just last week, the UK pledged to deliver its largest financial contribution to international climate finance, with more than £1.6bn to be ringfenced for developing nations.

According to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), global progress on the SDGs has been “static” for the third year in a row, posing a threat to the world’s decade-long efforts on the Global Goals.

The SDSN warns that not a single SDG will be achieved by 2030 at the current rate, and on average less than 20% of the SDG’s underlying targets are on track to be achieved.

In response, Earth4All, an international team of economists and scientists, in collaboration with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), has unveiled a five-point plan to deliver the SDGs – but it will take more than 20 years.

Join the conversation during edie’s Sustainable Development Action Sessions

From 18-22 September, the edie team will be hosting a week-long campaign of content and events dedicated to the delivery of the SDGs.

The main event is an afternoon of free-to-attend interactive webinars, the Sustainable Development Action Sessions. Tune in on Thursday 21 September 2023 to hear from experts at organisations including the UN Global Compact, Velux Group and SailGP. Click here for a full agenda and to register.

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