London. - The Stakeholder Forum for a sustainable future was recently commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to undertake a rapid new study to aid better understanding of the implications of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Developed Countries, since this aspect has tended to receive less attention in the international discussions. A report of the study was published on Friday.
The study introduces a new methodology for assessing the degree of both transformational challenge represented by each of the different SDGs (and their respective targets) and the transformational changes that will need to be made in implementing them indifferent national circumstances.
A first application of the methodology leads to the conclusion that the most transformational opportunities for developed countries in implementing the SDGs domestically are clustered around the goals of transitioning economies towards more sustainable modes of consumption and production, greater sustainable energy production and combating climate change. This contrasts with the position of developing countries for which the goal of eradicating poverty is still the central challenge, and for which they still need support in many forms from more developed countries and the international community.
It is important to note that all of the SDGs contain relevant and significant challenges for all countries. Therefore, all of the SDGs apply to even the most developed of countries. However, this study seeks to understand better the differing emphases for action within the SDG framework that will arise for different countries so as to relieve the overall anthropogenic pressures on the planet and its natural systems at the same time as eradicating poverty and promoting greater equality within and amongst countries.
The methodology proposed is described in some detail so that it could be taken up in any country or groups of countries and used to assess the extent of the challenge represented by the different SDGs in different contexts. It is hoped that it could in this way become a useful tool for countries at all levels of development as they make their plans for SDGs implementation. It could help any country to analyse their current situation in relation to the SDGs, to identify which of the goals and targets will represent the biggest transformational challenges and opportunities for them, and thence to determine their own emphases for action toward achievement of the SDGs.