Agenda 2030, Covid-19 pushes away the sustainable development goals

ASviS publishes the 2020 Report "Italy and the Sustainable Development Goals": most of the commitments of the 2030 Agenda are not met and the crisis negatively affects 9 out of 17 goals

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© Bruno Scramgnon

For Italy, the path towards the UN 2030 Agenda, which already appeared uphill before the crisis, becomes even more difficult: in 2020, in fact, 9 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will worsen. This is why we must immediately take the path towards a “right” ecological transition, capable of generating new employment and economic and social development, using EU and national resources in a coherent way to relaunch the country with a view to economic, social and environmental sustainability. .

These are some of the key messages contained in the 2020 Report prepared by ASviS, the largest network of civil society organizations ever created in Italy, and presented during the final event of the Sustainable Development Festival.

 The composite indicators developed by ASviS show that between 2018 and 2019 Italy improved for four objectives (poverty, economic and employment conditions, circular economy and efficient institutions), it remained stable for ten (food, health, education, gender inequalities, sanitation systems, energy, inequalities, climate change, terrestrial ecosystems, partnerships) and has worsened for two (innovation and cities). The provisional data available for 2020 instead show a setback for nine Goals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 17), an improvement for three (12, 13,16), while for the five remaining it was not possible to assess the effect of the crisis.

Even compared to the 21 Targets that should have been reached by 2020, the situation appears completely unsatisfactory: in twelve cases, in fact, our country appears far from the reference values, from the reduction of victims of road accidents to the number of young people who do not study and do not work (NEET), from the definition by cities of plans for the management of natural disasters to the defense of biodiversity.

The ASviS Report shows how the pandemic is causing a setback and a setback all over the world on the path towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, signed by the 193 UN countries on 25 September 2015, and the achievement of the 17 Goals of sustainable development (Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs). On the other hand, the European Union has placed the 2030 Agenda at the center of its action and is responding to the crisis with an unprecedented commitment built around the Green Deal, the fight against inequalities and innovation.

“The political program of the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen in favor of sustainable development – underlines the President of ASviS Pierluigi Stefanini – has been confirmed and indeed strengthened after the crisis triggered by COVID-19. The choice of orienting the Next Generation EU towards the ecological transition, the digital transition and the fight against inequalities and the stimulation of economic and social resilience is unique on the world scene and goes exactly in the direction desired by ASviS at last year’s Festival ” .

As regards Italy, the ASviS Report analyzes the legislative changes of the last year and the very strong financial commitment to reduce the effects of the current crisis. If the Budget Law for 2020 had been the most sustainable development oriented in the last five years, the interventions in response to the pandemic have largely been directed towards protecting the socio-economic system, rather than its transformation towards sustainability.

Precisely in view of the preparation of the Italian Plan, in the Report the ASviS indicates guidelines for designing, monitoring and evaluating the actions to be implemented, not only for European funds. Numerous intervention proposals are illustrated in the last chapter of the Report according to seven thematic areas: climate crisis and energy; poverty and inequality; circular economy, innovation and work; human capital, health and education; natural capital and quality of the environment; cities, infrastructures and social capital; international cooperation.

“The next few months will be crucial for designing and setting public policies for the next three years” – said spokesman Giovannini. “The demand for public and private choices in favor of sustainable development has never been so strong given the crisis has clarified the profound interactions between environmental, social, economic and institutional dimensions of our world, that is the four pillars of the 2030 Agenda. L ‘The European Union has shown the way to go and Italy can be the protagonist of this transformation in order to reap its enormous advantages. Italy in 2030 can be much better than what we had a year ago. This is why we must not go back. Vision, courage, innovation, persistence and participation are essential to create a more sustainable Italy and the wealth of knowledge and civic commitment of the hundreds of organizations adhering to ASviS are available to national and local institutions to make choices here and now best possible, without leaving anyone behind”.