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GSI academic highlights sustainability ‘own Goal’

Published: 3 July 2018 at 12:19

Global Sustainability Institute logo

Professor Anderson assesses the UK’s progress towards UN targets in new report

An academic from Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute has played a key role in a new report being presented to MPs in the House of Commons today [3 July], which shows that quality of life could decline as the UK falls short of meeting UN targets.

The Measuring Up report has been produced by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD), and is comparing the UK’s performance against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed by world governments in 2015 to provide a blueprint for global action to eradicate poverty and protect the planet by 2030.

Through the Global Sustainability Institute’s role with the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), Professor Victor Anderson has written the chapter on Goal 17, which examines the partnerships and organisations needed to deliver the other 16 Goals in the UK.

The report, which uses both existing public policy and published data to understand the UK’s performance, suggests that there is a significant danger of quality of life in the UK getting worse if action is not taken.   

It states that the UK is performing well on only 24 per cent of its targets and that poverty and inequality continue to deepen, with the number of people in insecure work (zero hours, agency employment, low-paid self-employment) having risen to 3 million.

It also highlights that the UK is struggling to address malnutrition in all forms, with food insecurity and obesity rising. And despite progress, it states that only 65 per cent of UK bathing waters are rated excellent compared to a European average of 85 per cent, with almost all forms of pollution in our coastal waters increasing.

Professor Anderson said: 

“I am delighted that Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity was invited to help with this work, which is about this country playing its full part in a global move towards sustainable prosperity.”

In total, more than 100 organisations have taken part in producing the Measuring Up report, which can be accessed here.  The report will also be presented on 17 July in New York, where the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is taking place.