October - PAGE and the Sustainable Development Goals

25  September 2015 - The UN General Assembly has adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, setting ambitious global development targets to be achieved by the year 2030.

The 17 SDGs have been hailed as a significant improvement over the Millennium Development Goals thanks to the country-led inclusive process through which they were developed, their applicability to all countries, as well as the greater integration of environmental sustainability elements.

How can PAGE help countries to achieve the SDGs?

By focusing on the transformation to an Inclusive Green Economy (IGE), PAGE is well aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. PAGE can be useful to countries in achieving many of the SDGs as IGE aims to benefit people and the planet through increased prosperity. In an IGE, growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

PAGE provides a mechanism for SDG implementation and monitoring:

  • PAGE informs the policy cycle, bringing state-of-the-art knowledge and practice on the economics of sustainability to policy makers’ fingertips. By drawing expertise from different UN agencies and operating largely at the country level, PAGE can deliver a critical mass of support for the SDGs in an integrated manner.
  • PAGE outcomes—such as stakeholder engagement, knowledge generation and sharing, and capacity development—are all essential ingredients for achieving the SDGs.
  • PAGE connects plans for IGE with sources of financing and investment, thus serving as a vehicle to deliver SDGs at the country level.
  • PAGE monitors its impact against a set of expected results, indicators and targets with identified sources of verification, which can be used and adapted to monitor progress in SDG implementation. The technical assessments it supports and by monitoring its own progress against a logical framework, PAGE establishes baselines from which progress in SDG implementation can be assessed. 

PAGE is particularly well aligned with SDG 8 because IGE aims to generate growth, employment, income and wealth in an inclusive manner while reducing environmental risks.

For example, in Peru, PAGE is supporting the development of the country’s green jobs strategy and revising regional youth employment plans, which will create new green employment for young women and men. It will also help Peru achieve SDG8 target 8.5 on full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people, and target 8.6 on reducing the proportion of youth not in employment, education,  or training.

In Mongolia, PAGE is supporting the development of green building codes and policies, starting with green public school buildings, and an industrial waste inventory report to feed into the National Waste Strategy with the aim to build up a recycling industry. These initiatives will support Mongolia’s achievement of SDG8 target 8.4 on resource efficiency and on decoupling growth from economic degradation. 

PAGE is also particularly relevant to supporting SDG 17. As a UN partnership for green economy, PAGE responds directly to the need for international support for sustainable development. PAGE outcomes closely match the SDG 17 targets for policy coherence as PAGE promotes coordinated action across ministries and society. PAGE also supports sustainable trade, another target of SDG 17, by assisting countries in identifying opportunities for promoting sustainable exports.

In Mongolia, for example, PAGE is contributing to integrated inter-governmental and multi-sectoral coordination and collaboration for green development policy planning and implementation. In this regard, PAGE is working with the Ministry of Environment and Green Development, the Ministry of finance, the National Statistical Office, the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development, and other government agencies in Mongolia. PAGE supports similar cross-sectoral collaboration in all its Partner Countries.

Achieving the SDGs is a lofty global ambition, one that will require diverse approaches and extensive partnership and collaboration. PAGE brings together five UN agencies to coordinate UN action on green economy and offers a promising mechanism to assist countries in achieving and monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals.