'Missed opportunity': Australia to fall short of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

phys.org | 10/25/2019 | Staff
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Rapid progress for Australia on the U.N."s Sustainable Development Goals is possible and could deliver a fairer, greener, more prosperous nation in 2030—if managed properly—new UNSW research has found.

Unless there is a groundswell across Australia towards a more sustainable future, Australia will fail to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, new UNSW research published today in Nature Sustainability has found.

United - Nations - Countries - SDGs - Pillar

All United Nations countries adopted the SDGs in 2015 as the central pillar of a global action plan for people, the planet and prosperity by 2030.

The 17 SDGs cover major aspects of economic prosperity, social justice and environmental sustainability, from decent jobs and quality education to good health, clean energy and water, and managing the effects of climate change.

Author - Cameron - Allen - PhD - Researcher

Lead author Cameron Allen, Ph.D. researcher at UNSW Sydney's Faculty of Science, said there was little appetite in the Australian Government to fulfill the SDGs, but greater interest among state and local governments, the business community and civil society could make a difference.

"Our results reveal that if Australia continues business-as-usual, we are off-track to achieving the SDGs in 2030 and would achieve about 40 percent progress on all SDG targets," Mr Allen said.

Terms - Government - SDGs - Opportunity

"In terms of the current federal government, I don't think they're particularly interested in the SDGs and I think this is definitely a missed opportunity.

"The fixation on a 'jobs and growth' agenda—a 'growth at all costs' mentality—has been the mainstream discourse in Australia for some time.

Interest - SDGs - Business - Society - Research

"But, there's rapidly growing interest in the SDGs from business and civil society, so I believe our research will generate a bigger impact amongst these communities and ultimately, if there's strong interest from the private sector then this will have a greater impact on government."

Mr Allen's co-authors agreed that more should be done to achieve a more sustainable future for Australia.

UNSW - Sydney - Prof - Graciela

UNSW Sydney's Prof Graciela...
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