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Europe Sustainable Development Report 2020

AUTHORS: Céline Charveriat – Guillaume Lafortune – Guido Schmidt

On 8 December, IEEP and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) released the second edition of their flagship Europe Sustainable Development Report, which tracks the performance of the European Union (EU), its member states, and other European countries on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by all UN member states in 2015.

The Europe Sustainable Development Report shows how the SDGs can be used as a roadmap for a sustainable and inclusive recovery inside the EU and highlights how the European Green Deal/SDG Diplomacy can help to achieve sustainable development worldwide and advance EU geopolitical interests.

The report is part of the broader Sustainable Development Report (SDR) series which track the performance of countries and municipalities around the world on the SDGs since 2015. It builds on a peer-reviewed and statistically audited methodology and includes country profiles for the EU, its member states and partner countries.

The report comes at a critical time when a new US administration has committed to rejoining the Paris Agreement. China, Japan, South Korea, and other countries have joined the EU in pledging zero greenhouse gas emissions by around the middle of the century. This is the time for the EU to promote shared goals for sustainable development ahead of landmark 2021 climate and biodiversity summits in the United Kingdom and in China.

Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director of the SDSN, states that “The SDGs and the Paris Agreement reflect Europe’s values and are aligned with the European Green Deal, so the EU must provide global leadership on the goals. The EU has the tools in place to achieve the SDGs internally, but they must be organized more clearly around the six transformations. It is in the EU’s interest to promote SDG and Green Deal diplomacy ahead of the climate and biodiversity COPs in 2021.”

At the same time, Europe’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must advance long-term development objectives. “Political attention rightfully remains in many European countries geared towards responding to the public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, recent good news on vaccines’ developments make recovery in 2021 increasingly likely. This report shows how the SDGs provide a roadmap for a sustainable and inclusive recovery,” says Guillaume Lafortune, Director of SDSN Paris.

In this process, strengthening SDG data and statistics and monitoring processes will be key. Céline Charveriat, Executive Director at IEEP adds that “In the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, measuring the progress towards SDGs with the right indicators is essential to ensuring a just, green and resilient recovery.”

The report and the dashboard can be accessed here.

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