This report offers the first comprehensive assessment of the SDG targets carried out by the scientific community, and represents the work of over 40 leading researchers covering a range of fields across the natural and social sciences.
In the opening chapter, Måns Nilsson and Robert Costanza review the overall framework and framing of the goals. They find that:
- The proposed Sustainable Development Goals offer major improvements on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SDG framework addresses key systemic barriers to sustainable development such as inequality, unsustainable consumption patterns, weak institutional capacity, and environmental degradation that the MDGs neglected.
- An overarching goal and compelling narrative of change is needed, to aid communication of the goals and mobilize broad stakeholder action. These should be accompanied by new metrics of progress.
- The current ‘silo approach’ within the SDGs is probably unavoidable given political and institutional realities, but should be complemented by an approach to target setting that better reflects the interlinkages between goal areas.
- There is a need to aggregate and package the goals and their interactions in order to communicate the SDGs effectively.