Find Paper, Faster
Example:10.1021/acsami.1c06204 or Chem. Rev., 2007, 107, 2411-2502
Economics without ecology: How the SDGs fail to align socioeconomic development with environmental sustainability
Ecological Economics  (IF6.536),  Pub Date : 2022-06-04, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107490
Markus Hametner

Science is increasingly warning that the Earth, as a result of human activity, is currently on a trajectory towards environmental collapse. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by UN member states in 2015 as a means to reconcile human activity with planetary boundaries, allowing humanity to thrive while safeguarding Earth's life support. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the SDGs so far have lived up to their promise. Using Eurostat's SDG indicator set, the study calculates temporal progress measures of socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability for the European Union (EU) member states. To validate the findings, the two progress measures are compared with changes in the human development index (HDI) and the ecological footprint (EF). The study's results show that over the past five years of available data, most EU member states have seen socioeconomic progress combined with environmental degradation. The trends in the HDI and the EF corroborate this finding, suggesting that the trade-off between socioeconomic activity and environmental preservation continues to exist. SDG implementation should consequently put a stronger focus on the environmental dimension, to ensure that the pursuit of the 2030 Agenda's socioeconomic objectives does not undermine the ecosystem services humanity depends on.