Published on 22 July 2018


No country on track to achieve sustainable development goals (sdgs)

Adopted with great acclaim three years ago, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new benchmark for sustainability, are struggling to translate into government budgets and policies. A new ranking puts Sweden, Denmark and Finland in the lead, with France following in fifth place.

A third of the G20 countries still lack SDG indicators

While the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development ended on 18 July at the United Nations, one report reminds us of the urgent need to act. According to an assessment (1) conducted by Bertelsmann and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)."Today, no country is on track to meet the SDGs by 2030, this coming three years after their adoption by all United Nations Member States".

Even the three leading Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Finland) still need to make efforts, especially on SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), 13 (climate action) and 14 (life below water). No G20 country has aligned its national budget with the SDGs, and 30% of them do not have monitoring indicators in place. This is the case for China, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and even the United Kingdom. Only India and Germany have conducted an assessment of their investment needs.

Rich countries must serve as role models

Brazil, Mexico and Italy have taken the most important steps among all G20 countries, in achieving the goals. This is exemplified by the existence of their government-based SDG coordination strategies or dedicated units. In contrast, the United States and Russia have been singled out for their low commitment. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and the Central African Republic appear at the bottom of the list in terms of progress and commitment.

"The report shows the crucial role of the G20 countries for fulfilling the global goals. Rich countries need to act as role models and must reduce their negative spillover effects while providing effective tools and means to integrate the goals into national action plans", said Aart De Geus, CEO of Bertelsmann Stiftung.

$12 trillion to gain

The only G7 countries in the Top 10 are France (fifth place) and Germany (fourth place).  Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition for France, launched an informational website on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on 18 June to make the SDGs more concrete and operational.

According to a study conducted by B & L Evolution, more than one third of SBF’s 120 companies are now engaging, with more or less rigor. And they have everything to gain. The Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) has valued global economic opportunities related to the SDGs at $12,000 trillion.

Concepcion Alvarez @conce1

1) See the ranking

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