Options for the SDG environment targets maturing in 2020

  • 26/03/2019
  • WWF

In September 2015, the Member States of the United Nations agreed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are 17 goals and 169 targets, which aim to achieve sustainable development in a balanced and integrated manner. Most of the 169 targets have a deadline of 2030. However, 21 of these targets will mature in 2020 (or have no explicit deadline). The reasons for these 2020 deadlines vary but most of these targets are aligned with other UN agreements or plans which have 2020 timeframes. In particular, there are 12 targets that integrate elements of the Aichi Biodiversity targets. The Aichi targets were agreed under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and are set to end in 2020. In 2020, Parties to the CBD are expected to agree, at their 15th Conference in China, a new set of targets with a deadline of 2030. Given that most of the SDG targets in question are lagging behind in progress and will most likely not be achieved by 20201, a clear process is required to extend efforts to 2030 and ensure the integrity of the overall SDG framework is maintained. Without a strong environmental pillar, will not succeed in achieving Agenda 2030. Conversations on these targets need to start well ahead of 2020 to ensure buy-in from stakeholders and decision-makers. This discussion paper provides an analysis of five potential options and relevant decision-making milestones for reviewing the 12 SDG targets which are linked to the Aichi biodiversity targets.