The GO for SDGs Initiative will serve as platform to accelerate ambition by facilitating dialogue and knowledge sharing for inclusive green economies.
GO for SDGs will work through existing initiatives like UNEP's One Planet Network.
24 September 2019: Germany and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have launched the Global Opportunities for SDGs (GO for SDGs) initiative to accelerate the building of inclusive and sustainable economies. GO for SDGs will serve as platform to facilitate regional dialogue and exchange among practitioners on best practices for replicating and scaling-up effects, and foster local institutional learning and experience sharing.
At the launch event on the sidelines of the SDG Summit, in New York, US, Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, said the initiative will focus on scaling up the use of existing initiatives and adapting them to specific national circumstances, stressing the need to translate the SDGs at regional and local levels to ensure the Goals provide answers to local needs. She announced Germany’s contribution of EUR 7.5 million to the initiative, called on governments to embark on the journey to become carbon neutral by 2050, like Germany, and invited other partners to join the GO for SDGs initiative.
Citing several recent reports on SDG implementation, Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, stressed that many current challenges receive insufficient attention, including rapidly increasing resource consumption and biodiversity decline. She underlined that SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) has the potential to unlock progress on several SDGs. She said UNEP’s One Planet network is an example of the existing platforms that GO for SDGs will utilize to enable knowledge-sharing and cross-country learning.
Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Finland, said her country wants to lead by example by making Finland climate-neutral by 2035 and moving towards a circular economy. Mikkonen added that, under the One Planet Network, Finland has taken responsibility for the programme for sustainable building and construction. Mikkonen explained that GO for SDGs is necessary to create a pool of practical local answers and solutions to SDG implementation.
Lucía Ruíz, Minister of Environment, Peru, highlighted the need for a grassroots, multi-stakeholder approach to SDG implementation. She called for “multi-alignment” of government policies and actions. Ruiz also underscored the need to tackle corruption in local administrations. [IISD coverage of GO for SDGs launch event][GO for SDGs partnership information]