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Where do we stand on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals? An overview on progress

George Halkos () and Eleni-Christina Gkampoura

Economic Analysis and Policy, 2021, vol. 70, issue C, 94-122

Abstract: Sustainable development is a part of every recent global agenda; the world has been trying to establish a more sustainable path and various goals and targets have been set to achieve this. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), introduced by the United Nations in 2015, aim to tackle economic, social and environmental issues that plague the world and to promote the concept of sustainability. This paper provides a comprehensive literature review regarding each SDG, the problem that each one addresses and why it is important to tackle it. Recent data regarding various targets are provided and compared to previous years, while a trend analysis is carried out to evaluate global progress and in different world regions. Based on UN estimations, an evaluation is extracted of each SDG’s progress and those areas where attention is needed are identified. These assessments reveal that economy-related targets, such as targets included in the 8th SDG (decent work and economic growth), the 9th (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and 12th SDG (responsible consumption and production) are close to being achieved, while acceleration is needed in order to achieve targets and goals regarding education (4th SDG), cities and communities’ sustainability (11th SDG) and in particular climate change (13th SDG).

Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals; SDGs progress; Sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.eap.2021.02.001

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