Guest Article: Research Maps Interactions between Economic Activities and SDG Targets
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to promote economic development, social inclusion, and ecological sustainability. Although all countries agreed to work towards achieving the SDGs by 2030, no country is on track. Recent assessments paint a bleak outlook: inequality is widening, hunger is on the rise, biodiversity is eroding at an alarming rate, climate change threatens all SDGs, and a pandemic is rampaging the world. To accelerate impacts, the United Nations declared the 2020-2030 period a “Decade of Action”. All stakeholders are called on to contribute to the SDGs, but the private sector in particular was identified as being able to make a difference between complacency and action. The economic activities they undertake can advance, but also be detrimental to, the SDGs. Defining interactions between economic activities and SDG targets In societies, companies undertake numerous, highly heterogeneous types of economic activities. These activities sustain livelihoods and produce goods and services that help people attain a better life, but they also create negative externalities. Different types of economic activities thereby impact different SDGs. From the start of the SDG effort, the importance of ‘interaction-’, ‘linkages- or ‘nexus’-’ effects have been deemed vital for progress. Many research and knowledge-exchange efforts have been initiated: the...
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