In 2015, the UN launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Adopted by 193 member states, the goals represent an important international step in setting humanity on a trajectory towards sustainable development. Within this course, you will get a historical overview of how sustainability has been understood, as well as a thorough introduction to the SDGs – what they are, how progress can be measured, and how the SDGs are relevant for the management of the global systems supporting humanity. The course will examine how various societal actors are responding to and implementing the SDGs.
While all of the SDGs are essential to sustainable development, SDG 13, Climate Action, is usually perceived as the most urgent in terms of the need for a swift implementation on a global scale. Therefore, particular focus is given to this SDG. Through the course, you will gain up-to-date knowledge of the current understanding of human impacts on the Earth at the planetary level. Progress towards establishing global management of human interactions with the climate system within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is also discussed.
The course is designed and taught by Professor Katherine Richardson, who is a member of the 15-person panel appointed by the UN General Secretary in 2016 to write the 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report. In each lecture, Katherine interviews experts who provide insights relevant to the topic at hand.