Only about 13 percent of local government authorities in Japan are working to achieve the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in areas such as the fight against climate change, a Cabinet Office survey has shown.

Some 58 percent of local governments are interested in the SDGs, according to the survey, but its results indicate that only a small proportion of them are taking concrete steps.

The Cabinet Office thinks that despite the high level of interest, many local governments are not taking tangible steps because they do not know what they should do.

The government agency aims to raise the percentage of local governments working to achieve the SDGs to 60 percent by fiscal 2024, which ends March 2025.

As part of the endeavor, the Cabinet Office will newly designate 150 cities over the next five years in order to support efforts in those locales to achieve the SDGs.

The online survey invited responses from 1,788 prefectural and municipal governments across the country between Oct. 1 and Nov. 29. Answers were received from 46 prefectures and 1,191 municipalities, or roughly 69 percent of the total.

In response to the survey, 241 local governments said they were promoting measures to achieve the SDGs. Typical steps being taken included holding internal workshops and seminars for residents, as well as incorporating the SDGs into regional revitalization policies and basic plans for the environment.

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