Economic Indicators and Various Reports On It- GDP, FD, EODB, WIR etc

This is the year to get the Sustainable Development Goals back on track


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: SDGs

Mains level: Why the world is not on track to achieve most SDGs by 2030?

Why in the News? 

2024 is an election year across the world and newly elected governments need to focus on the all-important sustainability issue. Year 2024 is an election year across the world.

  • At least 64 countries, both developed and developing, accounting for 49% of the world population, will go to the polls.

Causes of Global Slow Progress: 

  • Impact of Global Crises: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises virtually halted progress towards the SDGs. These crises have diverted attention and resources away from sustainable development efforts.
  • Neglect of Environmental Goals: There has been little to no attention towards goals related to the environment and biodiversity, including responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, and life on land.
  • Defiance of Integrated Nature of SDGs: The current practice of pursuing SDGs is criticized for defying the integrated and indivisible nature of the goals. This lack of integration hampers efforts to achieve sustainable development outcomes comprehensively.
  • Risk of Environmental Degradation: The slow progress and neglect of environmental goals pose a significant risk of accelerated environmental degradation. This threatens the overarching target of balancing human well-being and a healthy environment.

Why the world is not on track to achieve most SDGs by 2030?

  • Insufficient Progress: Despite reaffirmations of commitment by world leaders, progress towards achieving the SDGs remains slow. The world is only on track to meet 15% of the 169 targets that comprise the 17 goals.
  • Investment Gap: There is a significant gap in investment for SDGs, particularly in developing countries. The estimated investment gap exceeds $4 trillion, with nearly $2 trillion needed for the energy transition alone.
  • Lack of Synergistic Action: There is a lack of synergistic action in addressing SDGs, despite the integrated nature of the goals. Few studies and empirical evidence exist on the synergies and trade-offs among SDGs, hindering progress.
  • Barriers to Synergies: Various barriers, including knowledge gaps, political and institutional barriers, and economic issues, impede synergistic action.Inadequate data collection, and an inability to attribute co-benefits to specific actions hinder progress.
  • Misaligned Policies: Policies may be misaligned, leading to barriers for meeting greater targets. For example, ambitious renewable energy targets may not align with smaller-scale of steps taken to achieve SDG goal.
  • Limited Understanding of Cost Estimation: Exploiting resources without considering climate change impacts and synergistic opportunities can be detrimental to national and global efforts.

Way forward:

  • Call for Action: There is a call for action to strengthen the environment for synergistic action, transparently identify opportunities and limits to synergies, and develop reporting frameworks to assess the value created from specific SDG interventions.
  • Urgent Action Areas Identified: The UN SDG Report, 2023 identified five key areas for urgent action, including commitments of governments, concrete policies to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality, strengthening of national and subnational capacity, recommitment of the international community, and strengthening of the UN development system.
  • Global Reaffirmation and Commitment: World leaders acknowledged the situation and reaffirmed their commitments to delivering the SDGs by 2030. However, the effectiveness of these global pronouncements at the ground level remains uncertain.

Mains PYQ 

Q National Education Policy 2020 isin conformity with the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (2030). It intends to restructure and reorient education system in India. Critically examine the statement. (2020)

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