The UN's 193 member states have reached agreement on a new set of sustainable development goals that aim to protect the environment, achieve gender equality, end poverty and promote prosperity by 2030.
The agreement includes 17 new sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, and builds on the success of the millennium development goals, which were adopted in 2000 and have helped more than 700 million people out of poverty.
Announcing the agreement, UN general secretary Ban Ki-moon said: "This is the people's agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind. It seeks to ensure peace and prosperity, and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core."
The UN says the goals and targets aim to tackle key "systemic barriers to sustainable development such as inequality, unsustainable consumption and production patterns, inadequate infrastructure and lack of decent jobs."
The environment dimension is covered in the goals on oceans and marine resources and on ecosystems and biodiversity. These include ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns (goal 12); urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (13); and sustainably managing forests, combatting desertification, halting and reversing land degradation, and halting biodiversity loss (15).
Environmental NGOs and civil society groups have been actively involved in the development of the new SDGs over the past two years.
Groups, including Christian Aid, Practical Action, Greenpeace, CAFOD, WWF, CARE and Oxfam cited the need for the new SDGs to focus on climate change. The new agenda acknowledges the UN's framework convention on climate change as the primary international forum for negotiations and includes a commitment to "address decisively the threat posed by climate change and environmental degradation."
UN chef de cabinet, Susana Malcorra, described the agreement as "historic" but warned that the work ahead is immense. "The sheer size, the depth and the complexity of this agenda challenges all of us, challenges the UN," she said.
The agreement will be officially declared at the UN's 70th anniversary in New York in September.