6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where are we?


Global greenhouse gas emissions resume their upward path, confirming the need for bold action.
Forests are a safety net for the poor, but they continue to disappear at an alarming rate.

Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), 1990 and 2010 (Billions of metric tonnes)
Source: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013

Bar Chart

  • Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased by more than 46 per cent since 1990.
  • Nearly one third of marine fish stocks have been overexploited.
  • Many species are at risk of extinction, despite an increase in protected areas.
  • More than 2.1 billion people and almost 1.9 billon people, respectively, have gained access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities since 1990.
  • An estimated 863 million people reside in slums in the developing world.

Read more in The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013

Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums
The World We Want
A Million Voices: The World We Want

This report by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) collects the perspectives on the 'world we want' from over 1 million people around the globe.

View more MDG publications