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Mishcon de Reya calls on UK Government to base recovery on the Sustainable Development Goals

Posted on 9 June 2020

On 9 June Managing Partner James Libson joined more than 150 leaders from public life, business and civil society organisations to call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create a socially just and green recovery from COVID-19.

The letter calls on the Prime Minister to use the SDGs ‘to consolidate and future-proof [recovery] plans’, to:

  1. Prioritise the most vulnerable in our society and level-up regional and societal inequalities
  2. Build coherent policies for a healthy planet and to aid the transition to net zero
  3. Unite all sectors behind a plan to build a stronger and more resilient economy 

The SDGs are a broad based and interdependent collection of 17 goals, designed to give a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future".  Established in UN Resolution 70/1, they form part of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to which the UK Government is committed.  A recent report, "Measuring Up", by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD), found gaps in policy or inadequate performance for 57% of targets, and 15% where there is little to no policy in place to address it, or where performance is poor.

On 28 May, the Prime Minister called for "fairer, greener and more resilient global economy" after COVID-19. He said that we must "work together to get shared goals back on track including [...] the Sustainable Development Goals".

In signing the letter, James Libson said "The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed challenges that our society must rise to meet.  It has also shown the amazing transformative changes of which we are capable through individual and collective action for the common good.  As we look to recovery, we must seize the opportunity to let our values set our ambition and define our approach."

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