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Our shared blueprint

Our decisions and actions in this decade will determine the future of humanity. It is up to us (individuals and societies) to decide if those decisions and actions are in line with solving the many challenges of our time, climate change being the foremost.

What is not often apparent is that climate change is not just about reducing the GHG emissions that are warming our planet with devastating consequences for all life on Earth. It’s about creating a better future for all, a future where we can thrive on planet Earth, where “our development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” In two words, sustainable development. Our growth (development) hasn’t been sustainable, but extreme weather events and the passionate advocacy of youth activists are a compelling reminder that we need to care and act.

How are we going to build a better future?

We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We already have the framework, the best plan to create a better and more sustainable future for all: it’s the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with 169 targets and more than 200 indicators adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 to achieve by 2030. The SDGs are balanced on five dimensions of sustainable development: economic (or prosperity), social (or people), environmental (or planet -yes, these three are the core elements traditionally known when we talk about sustainable development), plus peace and partnership (known as the 5Ps).

The interconnected nature of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is of crucial importance in ensuring that the 2030 Agenda is realized. The 5Ps of sustainable development provide a lens through which we can comprehend the interconnectedness and indivisible nature of the SDGs.

The 5 dimensions of sustainable development
The five dimensions of Sustainable Development (5Ps).


sdg puzzle from WAD EU
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in partnership. Image from the EU- World Atlas of Desertification.

The 17 SDGs provide a shared blueprint, an urgent call to ACT NOW to build a better future. “They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.” They apply to all countries – developed and developing – and can be achieved when we act together: companies, governments, civil society – all of us collaborate in partnership to create a sustainable future. They are interconnected and indivisible.

They apply to all of us. We can all be agents of change, in our families, in our communities, and at work.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

More resources

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 17 SDGs

The SDGs for businesses

Individual action on climate change and sustainability:

To help mobilize millions of actions for the SDGs as an organization or an individual

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