Giving Compass’ Take:
• This report from the United Nations examines how sustainability science can accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
• What ways can an individual interact with the six identified levers to support the Sustainable Development Goals?
• Read more about three takeaways from this year’s Sustainable Development Goals Summit.
Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, there have been many positive developments. However, despite the initial efforts, the world is not on track for achieving most of the 169 targets that comprise the Goals.
The present report identifies six entry points that offer the most promise for achieving the desired transformations at the necessary scale and speed. In doing so it takes into account the urgency, the forward-looking expectations about a growing global population seeking higher levels of well-being, and normative considerations, such as leaving no one behind
Those entry points are:
- Human well-being and capabilities
- Sustainable and just economies
- Food systems and nutrition patterns
- Energy decarbonization and universal access
- Urban and peri-urban development
- Global environmental commons.
The Report also identifies four levers that can be applied to those critical entry points in order to right the balance between achieving human well-being and its social and environmental costs. The levers are:
- Economy and finance
- Individual and collective action
- Science and technology.
The report argues that it is only through these lever’s context-dependent combinations that it will be possible to bring about the transformations necessary for balancing across the dimensions of sustainable development and achieving the 2030 Agenda.
To accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, multilateral organizations, governments and public authorities, should devote special attention to directing resources – including finances, official development assistance at levels that meet international commitments, and technologies – to the six entry points, applying knowledge of the interlinkages across Goals and targets, contributing to the realization of co-benefits and resolving trade-offs.
The four levers of change – governance, economy and finance, individual and collective action, and science and technology – should be coherently deployed and combined to bring about transformational change. All actors should strive for coordinated efforts and prioritize policy coherence and consistency across sectors.
Every country and region should design and rapidly implement integrated pathways to sustainable development that correspond to their specific needs and priorities, and contribute also to the necessary global transformation.
Governments can lead the transformation of the world’s social, economic and environmental status towards universally beneficial outcomes when guided by the Sustainable Development Goals. But they must recognize that such transformation will involve tough choices and trade-offs.