UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Sustainable Development Report 2023: Implementing the SDG Stimulus

This year's report discusses urgent areas for action to accelerate progress in the seven remaining years to 2030, including the critical need for UN member states to adopt an SDG Stimulus.

Sustainable Development Report

21 June 2023

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Sustainable Development Report 2023

At the midpoint of the 2030 Agenda, all of the SDGs are seriously off track. From 2015 to 2019, the world made some progress on the SDGs, although this was already vastly insufficient to achieve the goals. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 and other simultaneous crises, SDG progress has stalled globally. In most high-income countries (HICs), automatic stabilizers, emergency expenditure, and recovery plans mitigated the impacts of these multiple crises on socioeconomic outcomes. Only limited progress is being made on the environmental and biodiversity goals, including SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water), and SDG 15 (Life on Land), even in countries that are largely to blame for the climate and biodiversity crises. The disruptions caused by these multiple crises has aggravated fiscal-space issues in low-income countries (LICs) and in lower-middle income countries (LMICs), leading to a reversal in progress on several goals and indicators. Despite this alarming development, the SDGs are still achievable. None of their objectives are beyond our reach. The world is off track, but that is all the more reason to double down on the SDGs.

At their core, the SDGs are an investment agenda: it is critical that UN Member States adopt and implement the SDG Stimulus and support a comprehensive reform of the global financial architecture. To achieve the SDGs the world must both alter its current investment patterns and increase the overall volume of investments. The Stimulus’ urgent objective is to address the chronic shortfall of international SDG financing confronting the LICs and LMICs, and to ramp up financing flows by at least US$500 billion by 2025. This year’s report also highlights six priorities to reform the complex system of public and private finance that channels the world’s savings to its investments – what is known as the Global Financial Architecture.


The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).


Sachs, J.D., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G., Drumm, E. (2023). Implementing the SDG Stimulus. Sustainable Development Report 2023. Paris: SDSN, Dublin: Dublin University Press, 2023. 10.25546/102924.

For further information visit: https://dashboards.sdgindex.org/