How does Denmark meet the world goals?

Pressemeddelelse 10. October 2018

Denmark is at the top of the international Global Goals lists. But being among the best does not mean that we actually meet the goals or that we measure the things that count in Denmark. A new cross-party project translates the global targets into local targets, so that the Global Goals can make a difference in Denmark.

How is Denmark actually doing when it comes to reaching the Global Goals – and how can decision-makers ensure that the goals really do become a basis for sustainable change? A new project will provide the overview. The project is initiated by the 2030 panel to support the 2030 network. "We have been in need of an overview of how far we are in Denmark and where we are lagging behind. This is what we are laying the foundations for now. The baseline will give us a better basis for developing policies and prioritising cross-party policy measures," says Kirsten Brosbøl (S), chair of the 2030 network. In concrete terms, the project will result in a baseline that maps how far Denmark has progressed towards meeting the Global Goals and that shows the development within individual sub-goals. The first results will be presented at the Multistakeholder Forum at Christiansborg on 10 October, 2018.

A basis for action

Denmark is in the lead in many areas when it comes to sustainability. But the high international rank in meeting the Global Goals can also be explained by the fact that we only have data in a few areas and that we measure indicators that are not relevant in a Danish context. "The UN Global Goals create common visions and actions for the whole world population. They give us a direction and a focus, but the way that we measure progress is a local task. We have very good prerequisites in Denmark for taking the lead and showing how we can use the Global Goals locally as a basis for action," says Steen Hildebrandt, chairman of the 2030 panel.

The Global Goals in Danish

In Denmark, it does not make sense to assess a city's sustainability by measuring how many people live in slums, and, even though we pride ourselves on our sustainable cities, only about 4% of our current construction is sustainable (Byggefakta, 2018). A central part of the project is to identify new indicators that are relevant to Denmark in a thorough, cross-disciplinary collaboration. The UN's formulations of goals and targets will be maintained. "Working towards the UN Global Goals – and so in the direction of comprehensive sustainable development – is a collective effort. If we are seriously to move things forward, we need a concerted effort from both public and private players. This is why a common starting point in the form of this baseline is so important," says Jesper Nygård, CEO of Realdania, one of the project's contributors.

The city as a catalyst for the Global Goals

Initially, a baseline will be developed for the Sustainable Development Goal 11 about sustainable cities and local communities, but in the long term, the work will be expanded to other goals and other countries. "Cities contain both the biggest challenges and the biggest opportunities when it comes to creating sustainable development. The tool that we are developing now for the Global Goal 11 will be transferrable to other global goals," says Neel Strøbæk, Senior Group Director at Ramboll Group, one of the project's contributors.

Broad cooperation and support

The project has been developed in broad cooperation between a large number of companies, institutions, and organisations – in addition to the 2030 panel, the Ramboll Foundation, and Realdania – to support the 2030 network. The work is facilitated by the Danish Architecture Center and Ramboll in cooperation with the Local Government Denmark and Statistics Denmark.