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

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 UK level
  • Brexit impact
  • Sustainable development in the UK, post Brexit
  • EU funded development projects
  • EU legislation
  • Defining sustainable development—the background
  • The Brundtland definition and the ‘Three Pillars’ concept
  • Sustainable development as a policy objective
  • Timeline
  • Guiding principles
  • More...

Sustainable development—definition and application at UK level

Brexit impact

11 pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks 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 come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. Any changes relevant to this content will be set out below. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on environmental law and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

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

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