While the fact that the UK played a leading role in the formulation of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is welcome, the UK Government has done little to establish how to implement the Goals since they came into force on 1 January 2016.
On 8 June, the International Development Committee (IDC) launched its report on the UK implementation of the SDGs.
Following this, the Environmental Audit Committee has launched an inquiry into their domestic implementation.
Our submission to this inquiry aims to draw attention to the fact that, regardless of which route is chosen to implement all SDGs successfully by 2030, population growth will make achieving this goal more difficult and more expensive.
The reason for this is simple: the SDGs must be delivered for each individual in society. The more people there are, the more will have to happen to achieve that.
The UK already faces serious population-related challenges, and these cannot be ignored.
Many challenges — housing scarcity, strain on education and health care facilities, and child poverty, for example — must be overcome in order to call the implementation of the SDGs a success. Yet, population growth will exacerbate these challenges.
Consequently, we believe that population growth should no longer be approached as a fixed premise.
This means that the Government should start promoting policies that aim at population stabilisation.