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  • APPA Intern / Catherine Choo

United Nation’s 17 Goals for Sustainable Development

Starting from January 1, 2016, the United Nations (UN) created a list of goals that they were planning to fulfill by the end of 15 years. The list contained 17 different goals and encouraged all countries to mobilize their efforts to bring an end to poverty, tackle the pressing matter of climate change, and to fight against inequality all around the world. The UN hopes that through this global movement, they will be able to transform the world.

The UN stated that for sustainable development to be achieved, it is crucial to harmonize three elements: “economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection.” They have set up a system of global indicators to monitor the progress on the goals for sustainable development. The UN have also created individualized objectives for each of the 17 Goals for Sustainable Development. For instance, the 7th goal is for everyone to have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. There are a total of 5 objectives that the UN is aiming to achieve by 2030. Some of the objectives include that by 2030, there will be more international cooperation to conduct and create more clean energy research and technology. They also wish to help developing countries by providing new technology to supply their people with modern and sustainable energy sources.

The UN have placed a major emphasis on providing the developing countries with energy because they have found that 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. As many people are continuously using these methods as their source of energy, all of the emitted gas are adding to the greenhouse effect and is causing climate change. By providing better energy sources to the developing countries, this will reduce the impact of energy on climate change. This will be fulfilling one of the major goals of the UN’s 17 Goals for Sustainable Development which is tackling the pressing matter of climate change.

To fulfill the UN’s goals to give access to sustainable energy to everyone, the UN began to conduct research about solar energy. One of the main drawbacks of solar energy farms is that energy creation is not always constant. To combat this, the UN is currently using satellites to enhance their solar forecasting. By using satellites such as Copernicus and GOES-R, they are able improve the quality of forecasts and the amount of solar energy that is produced. The UN have already created a cost-effective plan for the power plants in Botswana. As the satellites are continuously collecting data, the UN are able to see where solar and wind energy can best be exploited and create more power plants to supply countries with sustainable energy.

The 17 Goals for Sustainable Development were created not only to help our planet, but also the people who live on it. The UN understands that billions of people are suffering from poverty, and the ongoing issues on gender and social inequality. They have called the nations of the world to face these issues directly by providing them the list of goals that are to be completed by 2030. The UN have already taken action in many countries to provide education, food, energy, and more to those who need it. Learn more about the other goals for sustainable development and how you can help by going to

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