World leaders officially adopt UN Sustainable Development Goals during Climate Week NYC

Clare Saxon Ghauri
Reading time: 3 minutes
25 September 2015

NEW YORK: Marking an historic day for humanitarian and climate action, today world leaders of the 193 United Nations members formally adopted the new Sustainable Development Goals – during a week of positive announcements from business, sub-national government and civil society at Climate Week NYC, which is organized by The Climate Group.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are widely accepted as the strongest international agenda to bring an end to global poverty that has ever existed. They aim to address the interlinked problems of inequality, hunger and climate change by 2030 through 17 key themes, including access to clean energy and building sustainable cites.

Earlier today at the opening of the SDG Summit, Pope Francis put tackling climate change and inequality at the heart of his high-profile address to the UN General Assembly, calling the global goals “a sign of hope”.

Speaking to the biggest ever gathering of world leaders in the UN headquarters, the pope shared his opinions on the chances of success at the global COP21 climate talks this December. “I am confident that the Paris conference on climate change will secure fundamental and effective agreements. Solemn commitments however, are not enough even though they are a necessary step toward solutions. Concrete steps and immediate measures for preserving and improving the natural environment and thus putting an end as quickly as possible to the phenomenon of social and economic exclusion.”

During the event Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the pope’s recent speeches on economic development and the environment, stating: “Your visit coincides with the Agenda to Adopt the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but that is no coincidence. […] Climate change is a principal challenge facing the world. This message is critical as we head toward Paris in December.”

Aligned with SDG number 7: "ensuring clean, affordable energy access", this morning The Climate Group announced that over the past two years, we have connected over 60,000 rural villagers in four states in India to solar power as part of our Bijli – Clean Energy for All project. If scaled up, our finance models could save as many as 1.5 million lives a year by cutting indoor air pollution from kerosene lamps. 

Commenting on Bijli, Ban Ki-moon said: “I welcome efforts that bring governments, businesses and communities together to build a sustainable future. Ensuring access to affordable and clean energy is an essential part of the Sustainable Development Goals. It can improve health while fighting climate change - and point the way towards lives of dignity for all."

While the Summit does not finish for another two days and member states are still to discuss how the 169 targets of the 17 goals will be translated into policies around the world, today’s adoption is an important first step in a process which will be fully agreed by March 2016.

The collaborative space for climate events in support of the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Climate Week NYC concludes on September 28 with our Signature Event.

The event will be live streamed on our website, with announced speakers including Michael Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change & former Mayor of New York City, Felipe Calderón, Former President of Mexico (2006-2012) and Governor Shumlin, Governor of Vermont.


#CWNYC 2015

Climate Week NYC is a key event in the international calendar that brings together leading governments, investors, businesses, innovators and opinion formers. The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC in 2009, and has acted as the secretariat since its inception.

Host to more than 120 affiliate events from September 21-28, Climate Week NYC 2015 is the collaborative space for climate events in support of the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Climate Week NYC 2015 is supported by BT Group, Siemens, Procter & Gamble, Nike, SkyPower, SolarCity, CBRE Group, and Bank of the West - BNP Paribas; and the We Mean Business coalition members: BSR, The B Team, CDP, Ceres, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and WBCSD. | @ClimateWeekNYC | #CWNYC


By Clare Saxon Ghauri

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