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3 questions for Teresa Ribera on the SDG

Teresa Ribera, Directrice de l’Institut du  développement durable et des  relations internationales (Iddri)
Teresa Ribera, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI)

The 17 SDGs are particularly ambitious. Do you think they can be achieved by 2030?

The SDGs are transformational goals that aim for inclusive prosperity.
It is difficult to break out of inertia and learn how to decide and act differently, but we must. One year on from their adoption, each of us can ask ourselves how we can change in an environment where we all depend on each other.
Having said that, there are already some interesting approaches: Finland and Sierra Leone are using the SDGs to track their priorities, and Norway and Germany are using them to improve how they integrate sustainable development. We need to think about what mark we want to leave and about the most effective drivers. Reducing inequality, good governance and recognition of the environment’s limits are particularly relevant in the French and European contexts.
 
 

Companies have a role to play in achieving the SDGs. What can economic stakeholders contribute to the international agenda?

On September 25, 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) for 2030. These new universal and global goals have led Veolia to review its contribution to the international community’s sustainable development agenda.
That’s a question that needs to be put to companies!
Where would you like to make a difference? Are you ready to assess your contribution to people, the planet, prosperity and participation? Can you do this using your current business model or do you have to change? Which stakeholders would you work with? Companies have been quick to adopt the SDGs.
But now they have to be actively involved in their implementation. In 2016, half of all multinationals had plans to commit, but… Time will tell. For a company, the SDGs are a real opportunity to assess their contribution to sustainable development based on a definition agreed by all heads of state, together with criteria shared with subsidiaries, suppliers, unions and so forth.
 

Have you noticed any new partnership relations between companies, governments, academia and civil society?

Yes, the trend is very clear.
It was particularly evident during COP21, where companies and cities set climate targets in partnership with NGOs, and investors made heavy R&D commitments alongside governments.
Internationally, these new alliances have gained considerable weight that now needs to be confirmed through greater transparency around the real impact.
Such coalitions need to be developed for all of the SDGs.
 

Learn more

> Visit the United Nations website