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The global challenge posed by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Although the concept of sustainable development was first used officially in the Bruntland Report, published in 1987, it wasn’t until the UN General Assembly held in 2015 when countries across the globe signed the UN 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development. A pivotal part of this agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of goals and specific sets of tasks defined by the UN to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

This new international strategy laid out the blueprint for any development programs designed in the coming years, and urges States to allocate the required resources for implementing the SDGs and to foster public-private collaboration initiatives. The ultimate purpose of this Agenda is getting countries to realistically start tackling the crucial challenges that humanity faces, guaranteeing equal opportunities for everyone without risking the planet’s sustainability.

The 17 Goals were defined after more than two years of public consultations, negotiations between countries and meetings with the Third Sector, and place a special focus on the means of implementation to ensure that they can be realized, linking them integrally with the agreement of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for the Financing of Development.

The UN 2030 Agenda, together with the results of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, have been the basic roadmaps based on which the European Commission has defined the European Union’s challenges for the 2030 horizon, which aim to contribute to building a better world and developing a global framework for international cooperation in sustainability matters, addressing all economic, social, environmental and governance dimensions

BBVA and the 17 SDGs

Although SDGs are discussed individually, the reality is that all goals are interrelated. Therefore, successfully achieving one goal requires defining strategies that follow a global approach, not only from the point of view of States, but also of businesses and companies, just as companies such as BBVA are proving:

  • Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. In this sense, BBVA grants scholarships to people who would otherwise not have access to education and collaborates with academic entities.
  • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; something that BBVA has specifically committed to by means of its Pledge 2025, which aims to achieve a balance between sustainable energy and fossil fuel investments, following a three-pronged approach: finance, manage and involve.
  • Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. BBVA Forests is an initiative that BBVA has launched to recover and improve especially unprotected areas by sponsoring and promoting volunteering activities.

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