On 4 December 2017, the Senate established an Inquiry into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Inquiry).
What is the Inquiry about?
In 2015, Australia joined 193 Leaders and Ministers from across the globe at the United Nations in New York, to welcome and endorse the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is made up of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a roadmap to global development efforts to 2030 and beyond. In broad terms, the SDGs aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all with more specific targets elaborated under each SDG.
The Inquiry’s terms of reference encompass a broad range of matters, including:
- the understanding and awareness of the SDGs across the Australian Government and in the wider Australian community;
- the potential costs, benefits and opportunities for Australia in the domestic implementation of the SDGs;
- what governance structures and accountability measures are required at the national, state and local levels of government to ensure an integrated approach to implementing the SDG that is both meaningful and achieves real outcomes; and
- how can performance against the SDGs be monitored and communicated in a way that engages government, businesses and the public, and allows effective review of Australia’s performance by civil society.
AGL consider that the Inquiry presents a timely opportunity for the Commonwealth Parliament to consider the issues associated with Australia’s implementation of the SDGs.
We believe that the business case for sustainable development is strong. AGL is making progress towards integrating the SDGs into our long-term strategy and has committed to a broad range of policies and investments that will support Australia’s contribution to the achievement of the SDGs, particularly in the context of:
- SDG 13 – Climate action;
- SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy;
- SDG 5 – Gender equality; and
- SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure.
To effectively implement the SDGs, we consider that the Australian Government will need to implement a range of policy reforms that appropriately leverage private sector investment and support. We also believe that appropriate governance structures and accountability measures will be critical.
We elaborate our views in our submission, a copy of which is available here.