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Sustainable Development Goals

In the Sustainability edition of our National Social Monitor,  we assess whether current policy on sustainability encompasses the three pillars of environment, society and economy and make proposals on how to transition towards a sustainable future. 

The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report on Climate Change and Land raises some significant issues for Ireland, and in particular our policies on food production and land management.

A sustainable economy would involve transformative change and policies. The ‘circular economy’ theory is based on the understanding that it is the reuse of vast amounts of material reclaimed from end of life products, rather than the extraction of new resources, that is the foundation of economic growth.  In July 2019, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation launched its paper – Realising the opportunities for enterprise in the bioeconomy and circular economy in Ireland, which considers the impact of transitioning to more sustainable practices to provide solutions to ‘issues ranging from climate change, to pollution, to economic and regional development’.

The Government has just launched a new initiative to track Ireland’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the SDG Hub.  The SDG Hub is a Geosite – a website developed in collaboration with Ordinance Survey Ireland, the Central Statistics Office and Esri Ireland – and contains a lot of useful data and information on the SDGs and how Ireland is measuring them.  This work complements the Sustainable Progress Index produced each year by Social Justice Ireland, and the call for open source data to fill the gaps which remain in creating a full picture of the SDGs echoes our call to the Minister last year.

The OECD is seeking public comments on the draft Recommendation on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD).  The format of the consultation is a short survey (5 questions) and the deadline for submissions is Friday, 28th June 2019.  Social Justice Ireland has published extensively on Ireland's progress towards the SDGs.  To support you to make your submission, we have collated our most recent work in this area in one place.  Please click 'Read More' to access the latest from Social Justice Ireland on Ireland and the SDGs.

The Climate Action Plan 2019 contains many welcome policy recommendations, the challenge will be to implement them in a manner that is fair and that protects those who will be most impacted.  Budget 2020 must put the national interest ahead of short-term sectoral interests if Government is serious about delivering on the Climate Action Plan 2019.

Social Justice Ireland wishes our newly elected MEPs every success.  This is a pivotal time for the future of the European Union and MEPs play a key role in ensuring that social and environmental sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of Europe's future.   To this end we have formulated Five Key Policy Asks for our MEPs in conjunction with Trocaire. They are:

  1. The Elimination of Poverty
  2. The Championing of Climate Justice
  3. Policy Coherence on the SDGs
  4. Delivery on the European Pillar of Social Rights
  5. Supporting an international treaty on Business and Human Rights

Next week, Social Justice Ireland and Trócaire will co-host a hustings event for the Dublin constituency ahead of the European Elections on May 24th. Ahead of this, we have formulated a joint policy platform, with Five Key Policy Asks. They are:

  1. The Elimination of Poverty
  2. The Championing of Climate Justice
  3. Policy Coherence on the SDGs
  4. Delivery on the European Pillar of Social Rights
  5. Supporting an international treaty on Business and Human Rights


We are facing into local elections in May 2019. Sustainable local development should be a key policy issue on the local government agenda.

Watch the videos from our 2019 Global Justice Day Seminar here. Professor Charles Clark of St John's University in New York and Catherine Kavanagh of University College Cork launched our Sustainable Progress Index 2019, and Coalition 2030 Coordinator Jennifer Thompson responded.

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