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Geert M.J. Termeer ()
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Geert M.J. Termeer: South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Blagoevgrad

Economics and Management, 2019, vol. 16, issue 2, 89-103

Abstract: Poverty, inequality, lack of decent health care and education are still widespread, even though big improvements have taken place during the last decades, but so much still remains to be done in the developing, and also the developed world. Improving human well-being, and in such a way that today’s development does not compromise the capacity of future generations to satisfy their needs, is basically the aim of Sustainable Development. Reaching Sustainable Development is one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced: the world economy, global society, and the Earth’s environment have to be optimized, also in the interest of future generations. In 2015 all 193 UN member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. The SDGs contain 17 concrete and measurable goals, which are interrelated and also coherent with the Paris Climate Accord, and cover main topics like poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment, and social justice. This concrete Agenda 2030 formulates an overall objective, with sub goals to reach, stimulating a concrete process to reach it. The implementation process started in 2016. Specific and overall indicators, as well as the SDG-Tracker, or e.g. the Social Progress Index are measuring the progress of these SDGs. Research finds that the path to realization of the SDGs can be financed, and that the SDGs can be realized, but only if big steps and coordinated efforts will be undertaken. Hence concrete and ambitious policies have to be agreed on, and successfully implemented. This article analyzes how the concept of Sustainable Development came about; discusses the concept of “happiness”; introduces the Sustainable Development goals; looks at how Sustainable Development and its progress can be measured; analyzes if the SDGs can be reached, and mentions some criticism; and concludes with some key policy recommendations found in literature, which can be used to reach Sustainable Development.

Keywords: Sustainable Development; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); economic growth; measuring Sustainable Development; economic, social well-being, political indicators; Sustainable Development Policy recommendations; Gross National Happiness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q01 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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