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How sustainable are the SDGs?


Higgs, K, How sustainable are the SDGs?, Ecological Economics: Solutions for the Future, Haydn Washington, H Washington (ed), Australia, pp. 109-130. ISBN 9798662828902 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]


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Copyright 2020 Haydn Washington


The United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2015 are rightly celebrated as a major achievement: an agreement between nations on a comprehensive plan to tackle worldwide social and environmental crises. However, they rely on elements that are likely to undermine their success, and on trade-offs where some SDGs will have to be sacrificed to achieve others. Of particular concern is the injunction to foster economic growth, defined as growth in per capita gross domestic product (GDP).

The SDGs include specific goals for conservation, protection and restoration of land, sea and climate for the first time. A fourth goal (SDG12), ‘sustainable consumption and production patterns’, also implies environmental limits. These four goals are an advance on the 2001 Millennium Development Goals which, though they talked of ‘sustainable development’ in general terms, otherwise ignored the Earth system that supports all life, including human life.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:sustainable development goals (SDGs), growth, development
Research Division:Economics
Research Group:Other economics
Research Field:Ecological economics
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Higgs, K (Dr Kerryn Higgs)
ID Code:139849
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-07-08
Last Modified:2021-03-15
Downloads:23 View Download Statistics

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