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Sustainable Development Goals

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global agenda, adopted by countries in 2015, with a vision of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. 

The 17 SDGs and 169 targets are part of what is known as the 2030 Agenda, which recognizes "that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development." In adopting the agenda, countries resolved to take the "bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind."

The goals and targets are universal, meaning they apply to all countries around the world, not just poor countries. Reaching the goals requires action on all fronts – governments, businesses, civil society and people everywhere all have a role to play.

Discover how IISD research products relate to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals in different regions of the world.

  • Briefing Note
    Tracking the SDGs in Canadian Cities: SDG 1

    Tracking the SDGs in Canadian Cities: SDG 1

    The first brief in this series provides an overview of SDG 1—ending poverty in all its forms everywhere—across cities in Canada.

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  • Blog
    Disaggregated Data is Essential to Leave No One Behind

    Disaggregated Data is Essential to Leave No One Behind

    If we are to truly achieve the SDGs—and be sure to"leave no one behind"—we need the kind of complete picture that only disaggregated data can provide.

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  • Blog
    Why Innovation Is Critical to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

    Why Innovation Is Critical to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

    The SDGs are interconnected and complex. We are working to tackle that problem head-on while developing innovative approaches to achieving them.

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  • Guidebook
    Practice Guide to Auditing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Gender equality

    Practice Guide to Auditing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Gender equality

    This guide is the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation’s first methodology focused on SDGs and was produced in collaboration with IISD and Women Deliver, and with funding from Global Affairs Canada as part of its support of the Foundation’s International Legislative Oversight Program. 

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  • Blog
    Creating the Space for SDG Innovation: A Geneva case study

    Creating the Space for SDG Innovation: A Geneva case study

    What role should innovation be playing in sustainable development? We look at an example of its application: the Geneva 2030 Ecosystem under our SDG Knowledge Program.

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  • Briefing Note
    Cities - The engines for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

    Cities - The engines for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

    Cities play a critical role in advancing sustainability through the actual implementation of solutions that bring together the social, environmental and economic aspects of development.

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  • Briefing Note
    Indicator Preferences in National Reporting of Progress Toward the Sustainable Development Goals

    Indicator Preferences in National Reporting of Progress Toward the Sustainable Development Goals

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are intended to offer an ambitious and transformational agenda for our common future through 2030. In this brief, we review countries’ voluntary reviews to the HLPF to identify  the indicators that countries have actually been using in their reports to date, and data attached to those indicators. 

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  • Infographic
    Mind the Gap: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Could Fill the SDG Financing Gap

    Mind the Gap: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Could Fill the SDG Financing Gap

    Research suggests that removing all consumer fossil fuel subsidies would decrease global carbon emissions anywhere between 6–8 per cent by 2050. Swapping savings into sustainable energy would improve emissions reductions further.

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  • Speech
    IISD Speech: President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the UN Economic and Social Council, 2017 Integrated Segment, New York

    IISD Speech: President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the UN Economic and Social Council, 2017 Integrated Segment, New York

    IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan speaking at the UN ESOSOC 2017 Integration Segment on May 8, 2017 in New York.

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  • Speech
    IISD Speech: IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region, Geneva

    IISD Speech: IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region, Geneva

    IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan speaking at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region in Geneva on April 25, 2017.

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