Small logo Subscribe to leading news on impact investing. Learn More
The Brief Originals Dealflow Signals The Impact Alpha Impact Voices Podcasts Agents of Impact Open
What's Next Capital on the Frontier Measure Better Investing in Racial Equity Beyond Trade-offs Impact en las Americas New Revivalists
Local and Inclusive Climate Finance Catalytic Capital Frontier Finance Best Practices Geographies
Slack Agent of Impact Calls Events Contribute
The Archive ImpactSpace The Accelerator Selection Tool Network Map
About Us FAQ Calendar Pricing and Payment Policy Privacy Policy Terms of Service Agreement Contact Us
Locavesting Entrepreneurship Gender Smart Return on Inclusion Good Jobs Creative economy Opportunity Zones Investing in place Housing New Schooled Well Being People on the Move Faith and investing Inclusive Fintech
Clean Energy Farmer Finance Soil Wealth Conservation Finance Financing Fish
Innovative Finance
Personal Finance Impact Management
Africa Asia Europe Latin America Middle East Oceania/Australia China Canada India United Kingdom United States
Subscribe Log In

Turn toward “My Country First” is blocking path to 2030 global goals

It’s not just that rich countries are nowhere near achieving the policy objectives laid out in the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for economic and social inclusion, peace and environmental sustainability. It’s that their environmental, financial and governance failures are hampering the ability of poor countries to make progress, according to a new index ranking 157 countries according to their progress against the 2030 global goals.

Chief disappointment: The United States of America, which ranks 42nd out of 157. That puts the U.S. ahead of only four other OECD countries (Chile, Israel, Mexico and Turkey). The ranking corroborates findings from last month’s Social Progress Index, which showed a significant drop in the U.S. score for tolerance and inclusion.

The new report from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Bertelsmann Stiftung was scathing in its critique of industrialized nations turn towards “My Country First” policies and rhetoric. A traffic-light chart shows a number of red warning lights for the U.S. The world’s richest nation faces major challenges in gender and income inequality (SDGs №5 and 10), unsustainable consumption and production (№12), climate and environmental action (№13 through 15), peace at home and broad (№16) and global partnerships (№17).

SDG Dashboard for OECD countries

Rich countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia and France, make up the 10 highest-ranked countries, though nearly all scored poorly on sustainable consumption and production. But rich countries are also among the bottom 20 performers on spillover effects — the externalized environmental and social costs passed from one country to another. “This suggests that good SDG outcomes are often associated with negative spillover effects,” write the report’s authors. And only six countries (Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Denmark, Netherlands and UK) are delivering on their commitments to spend 0.7% of GDP on Official Development Assistance, or foreign aid.

As leaders of the G20 nations meet in Hamburg, the index and dashboard highlight the need for rich countries to make sustainable development work within and beyond their borders, said economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, lead author of the report, “If the world is to achieve the SDGs, all countries must take up the goals as part of their national development strategies and ensure that they take responsibility for their impact on the rest of the world.”

You might also like...