- The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.
- The 17 Goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals.
- Through the pledge to Leave No One Behind, countries have committed to fast-track progress for those furthest behind first. That is why the SDGs are designed to bring the world to several life-changing ‘zeros’, including zero poverty, hunger, AIDS and discrimination against women and girls.
- Today, progress is being made in many places, but, overall, action to meet the Goals is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required.
Why in News?
- The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has released its ‘State of India’s Environment 2023’ Report which looks at performance of countries on the 17 SDGs.
- Centre for Science and Environment is a not-for-profit public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi, India.
- Published annually, the report examines several metrics such as the state of development, effects of climate change, health, decarbonisation, agriculture, biodiversity, and the energy sector.
Where is India standing on its SDGs?
- In the past five years, India’s overall global rank in meeting the SDGs has slipped by nine places. In 2022, it stood at the 121st position, behind Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh; Pakistan was lagging close behind at 125.
- The rollback has been attributed to declining performance on 11 goals, such as zero hunger (SDG 2), good health and well-being (SDG 3), gender equality (SDG 5) and sustainable communities (SDG 11).
- There has also been stagnation in goals pertaining to life below water (SDG 14), life on land (SDG 15), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16).
- Goals on responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) and climate action (SDG 13) are on track.
How are the states faring?
- Individual states in India have also performed below average. States that usually fare well in these indices have also slipped in their performance.
- Kerala, which ranked first, has fallen behind on four goals; Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, which share the second rank, have slipped on four and six goals respectively.
- Meanwhile, the performance of most states has declined on goals regarding life on land and decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and good-quality education. Life on land has seen the most decline.
What are the other findings?
- The report also highlighted two main trends in 2022-2023: a turn back to fossil fuels and reversing the gains made towards transitioning to clean energy due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and the impact of climate change with extreme weather events worldwide.