CAP A7 Sustainable Development Goals:
Appendix 7 Sustainable Development Goals:
Dublin City Climate Action Plan and the SDGs
Figure 1 'The illustration describes how economies and societies should be seen as embedded parts of the biosphere. This vision is a move away from the current sectorial approach where social, economic, and ecological development are seen as separate parts.’(https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2016-06-14-the-sdgs-wedding-cake.html)
Background to the SDGs
‘The SDGs are a bold commitment to finish what we started, and tackle some of the more pressing challenges facing the world today. All 17 Goals interconnect, meaning success in one affects success for others. Dealing with the threat of climate change impacts how we manage our fragile natural resources, achieving gender equality or better health helps eradicate poverty, and fostering peace and inclusive societies will reduce inequalities and help economies prosper. In short, this is the greatest chance we have to improve life for future generations.’ (United Nations Development Program, 2023)
Ireland had a key role in furthering ‘Transforming our World’, the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The 17 SDGs were brought about by the joint facilitation of the Irish and Kenyan UN ambassadors, who consulted with UN member states, civil society, the private sector and more, to commit to ending poverty and inequality, and to tackling climate change. (Flanagan and Kirwan, 2020).
The SDGs and Local Authorities
‘We recognize that sustainable urban development and management are crucial to the quality of life of our people. We will work with local authorities and communities to renew and plan our cities and human settlements so as to foster community cohesion and personal security and to stimulate innovation and employment. We will reduce the negative impacts of urban activities and of chemicals which are hazardous for human health and the environment, including through the environmentally sound management and safe use of chemicals, the reduction and recycling of waste and the more efficient use of water and energy. And we will work to minimize the impact of cities on the global climate system.’ (United Nations, 2015)
The role of Local Authorities is key to implementation of the goals and the Dublin City Council Climate Action Plan brings together the dimensions of biosphere, economy and society.
In creating a vision of an open, social, resilient and resource-full city, we have the ideal opportunity to create connection and build on the Sustainable Development Goals by creating interlinked systems in the furtherance of reducing carbon emissions and creating a healthier and more sustainable Dublin.
There are 17 SDGs and 169 targets in total. They are all important and interrelated, and integrating the aims and broad ethos of the SDGs enables a more holistic and connected perspective on future planning. The SDGs can offer a roadmap to equality in terms of tackling climate change and creating a sustainable city.
It is impossible to achieve progress on a singular SDG without reference to the other SDGs, hence there is a need to create synergies and to have a ‘checks and balances’ overview of plans and projects which ensures that inequalities are not created inadvertently. SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals, emphasises these synergies and communications in working towards the goals.
Climate Action Plan Foundations
Foundation 1: A Resilient City
Goal 1: No Poverty
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Goal 13: Climate Action
A resilient city is one which aims to be safe, healthy and diverse in terms of people, services and public spaces. Creating sustainable food systems can offer a greater range of options for people. Cleaner air, which can be achieved by reducing traffic, will alleviate respiratory health issues. Mitigation of future climate hazards, by working in tandem with other stakeholders, ensures that all city dwellers have an equal level of safety. Housing retrofits mean that there are reduced energy costs for those who are most vulnerable, and access to basic services is an overarching goal throughout all of this.
Foundation 2: A Resource-Full City
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal 14: Life below Water
Goal 15: Life on Land
We are a city of many resources, natural, built and industrial/enterprise. Protecting and developing these resources preserves our natural environment for future generations and allows us to advance technologies to mitigate against the effects of climate change.
Urban transport measures, urban planning initiatives and investment in improving energy efficiency in public buildings contribute to Goal 7. Business strategies and training (like Modos) can help businesses improve their practices.
Goal 11 is integral to the role of local government in achieving the goals, as it ties together many of the other strands.
Foundation 3: A Creative City
Goal 4: Quality Education
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Connections with schools, green schools' programs, libraries and the arts can educate on climate change, as well as creating a space for public engagement generally. Creativity and linking human stories of change allows us to imagine a better future.
Partnerships with academic institutions offer the opportunity to learn and foster research which will benefit all citizens.
‘Local governments can generate growth and employment from the bottom up through local economic development strategies that harness the unique resources and opportunities in our territories.’ (United Cities and Local Governments, 2015)
The role of local government in creating a safe and vibrant city to live in can contribute to well-being and generate revenue from tourism, which supports businesses across a range of sectors.
Foundation 4: A Social City
Goal 5: Gender Equality
Goal 10: Reduced Inequality
Goal 17: Partnerships to Achieve the Goals
Gender equality also connects to Goal 10: Reduced Inequality. As with this goal, leading by example is important and as outlined in United Cities and Local Governments, (2015):
‘Local governments can act as a model for gender equality and the empowerment of women through non-discriminatory service provision to citizens and fair employment practices.’
Creating safe public spaces, adequate lighting and addressing safety issues are actions that are part of Goal 5, but which intertwine with other goals also.
In terms of Goal 10, Local Authorities have many capacities which can be utilised to reduce inequalities, some of which are: leading by example, creating accessible public spaces, ensuring that communications are accessible to all and consulting with marginalised groups on issues that affect them.
‘Despite the strong commitment expressed by the international community for inclusive and sustainable development, persons with disabilities continue to face significant challenges to their full participation in society. These include negative attitudes, stigma, discrimination and lack of accessibility in physical and virtual environments. Our shared duty is to tackle prejudice and misinformation and find new approaches and tools to work for and with persons with disabilities.’ (United Nations: Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018)
Partnerships and collaboration are at the core of Local Authority work and we are in a central position in relation to enabling continued and new partnerships and reaching out to communities and businesses.
‘Present-day governing styles no longer reflect traditional, hierarchical, rule-based systems
where the state assumes total responsibility for society. Contemporary systems are based on the
interdependencies between state, market and civil society.’ (Murphy, Walsh and Banerjee, 2021)
‘For example, partnerships should include multiple stakeholders from multiple sectors and a non-hierarchical or horizontal relationship forming a polycentric governance approach that works on a collaborative basis.’ (Murphy, Walsh and Banerjee, 2021)
Inextricably linked to the
Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is indivisible
Aids the achievement of
Providing access to electricity reinforces water‑pumping and irrigation systems. Strengthening the capacity to adapt to climate‑related hazards reduces losses caused by disasters.
Creates conditions that
Providing electricity access in rural homes enables education, because it makes it possible to do homework at night with electric lighting.
No significant positive or
Ensuring education for all does not interact significantly with infrastructure
Limits options on another goal.
Improved water efficiency can constrain agricultural irrigation. Reducing climate change can constrain the options for energy access.
Clashes with another goal.
Boosting consumption for growth can counteract waste reduction and climate
Makes it impossible to reach
Fully ensuring public transparency and democratic accountability cannot be
(Nilsson, Griggs and Visbeck, 2016)
Headline/ Crosscutting Indicator
Improved health and well being of citizens evidenced by for example reductions in rates of non communicable diseases (COPD, Asthma).
SDG 3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment.
Amount of renewable energy generation in the city
SDG Target 7.2: By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
51% reduction in emissions from energy use.
SDG Target 7.3: By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
Improved socio-economic status evidenced through employment, educational attainment, and volunteerism rates
SDG Target 8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services.
Increase in number of SMEs based in Dublin City
SDG Target 8.3
95% of people brought within 400 metres of a segment of the active travel network.
SDG Target 11.2: By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
Modal shift that demonstrates measures have been inclusive and network is accessible to all ages and abilities.
SDG Target 11.3: By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries. SDG Target 11.7: By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities