Sustainable Development Goals: the post-2015 agenda

06 July 2015

In September 2015, the global community agreed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), setting out new development priorities for all countries, post-2015.

Seventeen new goals have been identified that integrate global ambitions on tackling poverty, reducing inequality, combating climate change, and protecting ecosystems including oceans, forests and biodiversity. It is an ambitious and universal agenda.

The SDGs replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and set the direction for the post-2015 agenda. But they do not stand alone. Key decisions will also be made this year on Financing for Development with an international conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July and on future action to tackle climate change, with a UN climate summit in Paris, France in December.

An important international conference on disaster reduction and relief also took place in Sendai, Japan in March, agreeing a new framework (PDF), while the zero draft (PDF) will be discussed at the UN General Assembly in September.

Our work on the post-2015 agenda

The broad reach and ambition of the SDGs, integrating action to eliminate poverty with efforts to better manage the natural environment, resonates with many aspects of IIED's research.

Our forest team has looked at how forests can be best protected through the SDGs process, our Human Settlements Group has addressed the challenge of making cities resilient in the face of climate change (Goal 11) as well as the question of how access to water and sanitation can best be implemented and financed in urban environments (Goal 6), and our Sustainable Markets Group has looked at what the SDGs might mean for fisheries.

We have also been developing a strong stream of work looking at the questions around climate finance, and how this overlaps with and supports development finance.

Furthermore, IIED researchers and partners have recorded a number of video interviews as part of an 'Understanding the SDGs' series which can be viewed below and on our YouTube channel. The series examines both individual goals and the overall SDG process, and focuses on issues such as finance and measurement.


IIED is also a key partner in the International Research Forum on a Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (IRF2015), which brings together research bodies from across the world to provide an independent source of critical thinking, integrated analysis and awareness-raising on SDGs and a post-2015 development agenda.

LDC Independent Experts Group

IIED also supports and works with the Least Developed Country Independent Experts Group (IEG) to provide ideas and challenges that support a more ambitious, effective and fair global set of goals for environmental sustainability and human development.