What use are the SDGS if there is global failure on every one of them?

Writing on his blog, Professor Jem Bendell explains the recent letter from scholars to the UN’s disaster event.

Professor Bendell says the SDGs represent a “failing approach, with all the indicators heading in the wrong direction”.

The UN reports countries have gone backwards on most of them. That is even before the inflation, energy and food polycrises of 2022. This failure was predicted at the outset, by scholars who identified the impossibility of promoting ecologically-demanding consumer lifestyles as the means of progress for all. 

Says Bendell: “Our main proposal is that we all stop pretending that we can grow economies, reduce poverty and avert environmental disasters.”

As we have outlined here in this blog earlier, there needs to be a general acceptance of resource limits and a systematic approach to providing quality of life within planetary boundaries. The current disciplines of economics and public management along with the democratic system are inadequate for the task.

The systemic approach outlined in this blog’s earlier posts might provide a better start.

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