Sustainable development—definition and application at international level
Produced in partnership with Ardea International

The following Environment practice note produced in partnership with Ardea International provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sustainable development—definition and application at international level
  • Brexit
  • Sustainable development in the UK, post Brexit
  • EU funded development projects
  • EU legislation
  • The basic definition
  • Adoption and evolution of the definition and concept by international institutions
  • UN General Assembly
  • World Bank
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • More...

Sustainable development—definition and application at international level

Brexit

11 pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s legal regime.

Sustainable development in the UK, post Brexit

Sustainable development in the UK has been driven in part by EU legislation and funding. The UK’s exit from the EU may have significant implications for sustainable development and it is worth noting that, as of 1 January 2021, the UK is not expected to be involved in the European Commission’s future Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) initiatives discussed in this Practice Note.

Despite no longer being part of EU indexes, the UK will continue to report against the UN’s SDG indicators. As a result, the UK government has not suggested that any dramatic changes to its sustainable development policies are on the horizon.

The UK’s SDG Implementation Strategy gives a more detailed insight into how each government department’s policies contribute towards the goals. Each single departmental plan references the SDGs and outlines a broad commitment to uphold or surpass the current level of contribution after Brexit. Although, UK policies may now shift emphasis towards a particular pillar of

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