UK Government urged to increase engagement with the SDGs

The CBI and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have called on the UK Government to create "clear definitions" and communication plans to act on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using access to green finance to mobilise private sector action.

UK Government urged to increase engagement with the SDGs

The two organisations convened businesses to issue a call to action over the Government’s engagement and commitment to the SDGs.

Recommendations include a “joined-up strategy” across government that links departments together to act against the SDGs, clear communication of how consumers and business can contribute to the goals and an action plan to accelerate sustainable finance in the UK.

“For businesses, the starting point to adapting to climate change and delivering on UK commitments to the UN SDGs has to be ensuring their on-going competitiveness within the UK,” the organisations state. “We need to support industry to decarbonise here in the UK, rather than move abroad, which requires smart policies that avoid cumulative cost burdens.

“Sustainable Finance is a key enabler to this. Access to sustainable finance will allow businesses to find new ways to decarbonise and increase their productivity through investment in innovative technologies and research and development. The Government must find innovative solutions to allow firms across all sectors of the economy to transition to sustainable business models.”

Landmark review

Of the 143 targets considered relevant to the domestic delivery of the SDGs, a report notes that the UK is only performing well on 24% of its targets. Policy gaps or inadequate performance were listed alongside 57% of the targets, while 15% had “little to no policy in place” to address them.

However, the Government has launched its first voluntary review into how the nation’s business community is contributing to the SDGs. Set to be presented to the UN at the High-Level Political Forum in July 2019, the review will also highlight which areas the UK needs to take greater action on.

As for finance, CBI and the ICC note that a “joined-up government strategy on par with Sweden, Germany and Switzerland is needed to make the UK a world leader in sustainable and green finance”.

The UK is considered a leader on sustainable finance, with notable Government policies including the creation of a new Green Finance Institute alongside the City of London Corporation to “champion sustainable finance” in the UK and abroad.

The Institute has already put forward a ten-point list of investment guidelines which they believe would accelerate the UK’s global low-carbon leadership credentials.

edie’s in action SDG series

In an effort to mobilise business contributions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), edie has launched a new best-practice case study series highlighting how businesses are helping to achieve the Global Goals.

First, edie explores how Asia Pulp & Paper’s (APP) is helping to achieve Goal 15: Life on Land. Read the feature here. 

Matt Mace

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