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Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals Includes the SDG Index and Dashboards. Sustainable Development Report 2019

Sachs, J. and Schmidt-Traub, G. and Kroll, C. and Lafortune, G. and Fuller, G. (2019) Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals Includes the SDG Index and Dashboards. Sustainable Development Report 2019. UNSPECIFIED.

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    The Sustainable Development Report 2019 presents an updated SDG Index and Dashboards with a refined assessment of countries’ distance to SDG targets. The report has been successfully audited for the first time by the European Commission Joint Research Centre. New indicators have been included, primarily to refine the indicator selection on agriculture, diets, gender equality and freedom of speech. We have also added more metrics for international spillovers, including on fatal work accidents. A new website and data visualization tools are available ( Once again, Nordic countries – Denmark, Sweden and Finland – top the SDG Index. Yet, even these countries face major challenges in implementing one or several SDGs. No country is on track for achieving all 17 goals with major performance gaps even in the top countries on SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). Income and wealth inequalities, as well as gaps in health and education outcomes by population groups also remain important policy challenges in developing and developed countries alike. The Sustainable Development Report 2019 generates seven major findings: 1. High-level political commitment to the SDGs is falling short of historic promises In September 2019, heads-of-states and governments will convene for the first time in person at the UN in New York to review progress on their promises made four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. Yet, our in-depth analyses show that many have not taken the critical steps to implement the SDGs. Out of 43 countries surveyed on SDG implementation efforts, including all G20 countries and countries with a population greater than 100 million, 33 countries have endorsed the SDGs in official statements since January 1st, 2018. Yet in only 18 of them do central budget documents mention the SDGs. This gap between rhetoric and action must be closed. 2. The SDGs can be operationalized through six SDG Transformations SDG implementation can be organized along the following Transformations: 1. Education, Gender, and Inequality; 2. Health, Wellbeing, and Demography; 3. Energy Decarbonization and Sustainable Industry; 4. Sustainable Food, Land, Water, Oceans; 5. Sustainable Cities and Communities; and 6. Digital Revolution for Sustainable Development. The transformations respect strong interdependencies across the SDGs and can be operationalized by well-defined parts of governments in collaboration with civil society, business, and other stakeholders. They must be underpinned and guided by the principles of Leave No One Behind and Circularity and Decoupling of resource use from human wellbeing. 3. Trends on climate (SDG 13) and biodiversity (SDG 14 and SDG 15) are alarming On average, countries obtain their worst scores on SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). No country obtains a “green rating” (synonym of SDG achieved) on SDG 14 (Life Below Water). Trends on greenhouse gas emissions and, even more so, on threatened species are moving in the wrong direction. These findings are in line with the recent reports from the IPCC and IPBES on climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection, respectively. 4. Sustainable land-use and healthy diets require integrated agriculture, climate and health policy interventions Land use and food production are not meeting people’s needs. Agriculture destroys forests and biodiversity, squanders water and releases one-quarter of global greenhouse-gas emissions. In total, 78% of world nations for which data are available obtain a “red rating” (synonym of major SDG challenge) on sustainable nitrogen management; the highest number of “red” rating across all indicators included in the report. At the same time, one-third of food is wasted, 800 million people remain undernourished, 2 billion are deficient in micronutrients, and obesity is on the rise. New indicators on nations’ trophic level and yield gap closure highlight the depth of the challenge. Transformations towards sustainable landuse and food systems are required to balance efficient and resilient agriculture and forestry with biodiversity conservation and restoration as well as healthy diets.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Bertelsmann Stiftung/Foundation (Gutersloh, Germany) > Studies
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2020 12:59
    Number of Pages: 478
    Last Modified: 19 Mar 2020 12:59

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