Sustainable Development Goals champions announced by minister

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton today, Wednesday, September 18, appointed 12 leaders from across all aspects of society to drive forward Ireland’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) at the National Ploughing Championships in Fenagh, Co. Carlow.

The chosen champions are organisations who are leading by example in achieving the SDGs. They will achieve this by raising public awareness, while illustrating practical ways in which organisations and individuals can contribute to achieving the goals.

The 17 SDGs are an ambitious set of targets covering the social, economic and environmental requirements for a sustainable future.

They cover policy areas such as poverty eradication, economic development, protection of the environment, access to health and education services, gender equality, peaceful societies and human rights.

The minister also highlighted how the Government “is committed” to fully implementing the SDGs by 2030.

Champion programme

This year is the first year Minister Bruton is appointing SDG champions. The programme will continue, with new champions being appointed on an annual basis.

The 2019/2020 champions are:

  • An Post;
  • Bord Iascaigh Mhara;
  • Carlow County Council;
  • ECO Unesco;
  • The GAA;
  • Irish Congress of Trade Unions;
  • Irish Men’s Sheds;
  • Musgrave;
  • National Women’s Council of Ireland;
  • Smart Farming;
  • Union of Students of Ireland;
  • Vodafone.

Speaking on SDGs, Minister Bruton said: “We need to take actions in a broad range of policy areas to put us on a more sustainable pathway.

“The SDGs draw those together in an integrated way. Achieving them will be a challenge. We need everyone to get involved and play their part in whatever way they can.

The champions chosen here today will be beacons of best practice for the coming year. They will lead the way with practical examples for how we can all contribute.

Each champion organisation will primarily focus on a select number of SDGs each, resulting in all 17 SDGs being championed in total.

However, all 12 champions’ campaigns will be built around the core message that the SDGs are for everyone in society and that everyone can make a contribution, large or small, to their success.

Climate action and sustainability

Climate action and sustainability will be a key focus for the Government at the National Ploughing Championships this year. Minister Bruton is also today leading a discussion on the recently published All of Government Climate Action Plan in the Government of Ireland Marquee at 2:00pm.

Speaking ahead of the discussion, Minister Bruton said: “Our society must take action now to ensure that our homes, our enterprises, our farms and our communities are resilient in a very challenging and fast-paced world.

“Agriculture is Ireland’s largest single source of greenhouse gas but is also Ireland’s single greatest carbon sink. I look forward to discussing how new farming methods and new opportunities in the bio-economy can strengthen the resilience and sustainability of our land use.”