This report clearly articulates that any successes in reaching the eleven social and economic goals, if done based on conventional growth policies, would make it virtually impossible to reduce the speed of global warming or to stop overfishing in the oceans or to stop land degradation, let alone to halt biodiversity loss.
The report confirms that meeting the SDGs in an integrated fashion based on conventional growth policies is not possible. By accelerating growth, an increasing number of the socio-economic goals may be reached but it will occur at the expense of the environmental SDGs and push planetary boundaries into high-risk zones. In other words, assuming no major changes in the way economic growth is defined and pursued, humanity would be confronted with massive trade-offs between the socio-economic and the environmental SDGs.The only way we will meet most of the goals by 2030 is one built on transformational change starting now. According to the report, such a pathway rests on at least five transformational actions with systems-wide effects on the SDGs:
• Accelerated renewable energy growth
• Accelerated productivity in food chains
• New development models in the poorer countries
• Active inequality reduction
• Investments in education for all, gender equality and family planning
Governments around the world are struggling to develop policies for an integrated approach to Agenda 2030. For that to happen, conventional growth must be replaced by policies that give priority to welfare and wellbeing and puts ecological and social objectives at the forefront of policymaking. If the world’s nations simply continue with business as usual, the world will not succeed in achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the 9 planetary boundaries (PBs) by 2030, nor 2050.
The report states that “a key challenge lies in the psychology of worldviews. While the adoption of the SDGs is such a positive global act – a true turning point for the entire agenda on world development – we still remain in a world view where ‘Everybody knows, but nobody wants to understand’ the magnitude of the transformation that is needed.” It echoes many of our thoughts when it stresses that “now is time to rise together to take on the grand challenge.”