Eurostat gauges EU progress on SDG implementation

The UN headquarters in New York, lit up with the symbols of the SDGs and the flags of the member states. [United Nations]

Eurostat, the European Union statistical office, published on Monday (20 November) a monitoring report on how the EU as a whole implements the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), showing “significant” progress in five of them and “moderate” progress for eight others.

The 370-page monitoring report describes progress made using a set of 100 indicators that are structured along the 17 SDGs, adopted by the United Nations in September 2015.

Unlike the Millennium Development goals (MDGs), the SDGs apply equally to all countries, developed and developing.

The publication is accompanied by a shorter brochure, providing a visual summary of the main findings of the full report.

The report finds that overall the EU made progress towards the 17 SDGs over the past five years. Progress for some goals has been faster than for others. In addition, within goals, movement away from the sustainable development objectives also happened in specific areas. These trends are described in the thematic chapters on the individual SDGs.

Significant progress

The EU made significant progress over the last five years towards the overall attainment of SDG 7 ‘Affordable and clean energy’, SDG 12 ‘Responsible consumption and production’, SDG 15 ‘Life on land’, SDG 11 ‘Sustainable cities and communities’ and SDG 3 ‘Good health and well-being’, the report revealed.

Moderate progress

For eight SDGs, the reports says the EU made moderate overall progress: SDG 4 ‘Quality education’, SDG 17 ‘Partnership for the goals’, SDG 9 ‘Industry, innovation and infrastructure’, SDG 5 ‘Gender equality’, SDG 8 ‘Decent work and economic growth’, SDG 1 ‘No poverty’, SDG 2 ‘Zero hunger’ and SDG 10 ‘Reduced inequalities’.

In the case of four goals – SDG 6 ‘Clean water and sanitation’, SDG 13 ‘Climate action’, SDG 14 ‘Life below water’ and SDG 16 ‘Peace, justice and strong institutions’ – trends cannot be calculated due to insufficient data over the past five years.

A year of Agenda 2030: The progress and challenges of the SDGs so far

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been in place for over a year and one of the biggest challenges remains the collection of useful data. EURACTIV’s partner El País – Planeta Futuro reports.

As of yesterday, Eurostat’s website hosts a renewed dedicated section on measuring sustainable development in the EU and presents the results of the monitoring report in a series of articles.

And on the Eurostat website, it is possible to compare your country’s progress on sustainable development.