The authors identify serious trade-offs between economic growth and issues of environmental deterioration, human health, and inclusiveness. Such trade-offs are seldom considered in SDG politics, even though they significantly hamper the 2030 Agenda’s overarching principle of leaving no one behind. Instead, selective reporting and cherry-picking often obscure trade-offs and risk entrenching existing patterns of marginalization. Structural power asymmetries constitute a significant barrier for the 2030 Agenda’s potential for transformation, yet they also uncover important differences between countries, with more inclusive governance in Uruguay’s case.