MPs to scrutinise Government’s SDG review

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is set to hold a one-off evidence session to examine the UK Government's voluntary national review towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

MPs to scrutinise Government’s SDG review

The EAC will confirm the date for the one-off evidence session in due course

The UK Government announced in October 2018 that it would finally launch a voluntary national review into UK contributions towards the SDGs. The reviews are generally used by nations to outline policy areas that can be strengthened to mobilise multi-stakeholder action towards the Goals.

The UK is set to submit its “main message” of the review by 17 May, to the UN High Level Political Forum, which will take place in July.

Ahead of the submission, the EAC will explore what the review has uncovered and is inviting written evidence from stakeholders. An EAC report from 2017 issued concerns that Government was providing enough resources to sufficiently engage with the Goals.

The EAC’s chair Mary Creagh said: “Voluntary national reviews are an important opportunity for a country to take stock of its progress against the UN’s SDGs. However, as we warned in our previous report, despite them supposedly being inclusive in nature, key stakeholders have not had enough opportunity to have their say.

“It is important that we hear from these groups as we conduct our short inquiry into the domestic aspects of the review. We will be publishing our scrutiny before the VNR concludes in two months’ time.”

The EAC will confirm the date for the one-off evidence session in due course.

Policy gaps

The launch of the review came after a report from the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) revealed that the nation was only performing well on 24% of targets considered relevant to the domestic delivery of the Goals.

Presented to MPs at the House of Commons in July, the report listed policy gaps or inadequate performance alongside 57% of the 143 targets, while 15% had “little to no policy in place” to address them.

Responding to the UKSSD report at the time, Climate Secretary Rachel Lloyd confirmed that the findings would be included in the Voluntary National Review.

The UK Government’s attempts at addressing and implementing the SDGs have been labelled “a total fail” by Creagh in the past.

The SDGs at edie Live 2019

The Sustainable Development Goals are taking centre stage at the UK’s largest sustainability and energy exhibition this year, with an entire Theatre and day dedicated to the topic at edie Live on 21-22 May.

The two-day show – edie’s biggest event of the year – has become a highlight of the calendar for sustainability, energy and environment professionals looking for new ideas and solutions that will help them achieve a low-carbon, resource efficient and profitable future for their business.

Register for your free edie Live 2019 pass here.

Matt Mace

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