Assessing SDGs: A New Methodology to Measure Sustainability

32 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2016

See all articles by Lorenza Campagnolo

Lorenza Campagnolo

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Carlo Carraro

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Ca' Foscari University of Venice; CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (Climate Policy Division); IPCC; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels; Green Growth Knowledge Platform; International Center for Climate Governance

Fabio Eboli

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici

Luca L. Farnia

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)

Date Written: January 15, 2016

Abstract

The FEEM project APPS – Assessment, Projections and Policy of Sustainable Development Goals – focuses on the quantitative assessment of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations at the end of September 2015. The project consists of two phases. The first, retrospective, computes indicators for all SDGs in 139 countries and then derives a composite multi-dimensional index and a worldwide ranking of current sustainability. This allows informing on strengths and weaknesses of today socio-economic development, as well as environmental criticalities, all around the world. The second phase, prospective, aims at evaluating the future trends of sustainability in the world by 2030. The assessment of the SDGs is carried out by means of an extended version of the recursive-dynamic computable general equilibrium ICES macro-economic model that includes social and environmental indicators. The final goal is to highlight future challenges left unsolved in next 15 years of socio-economic development and analyze costs and benefits of specific policies to support the achievement of proposed targets. This paper presents the methodology and the results of the retrospective assessment. Five main steps are described: i) screening of indicators eligible to address the UN SDGs; ii) data collection from relevant sources; iii) organization in the three pillars of sustainability (economy, society, environment); iv) normalization to a common metrics; v) aggregation of the 25 indicators in composite indices by pillars as well as in the multi-dimensional index. The final ranking summarizes countries’ sustainability performance. As expected, Middle-North European countries are at top of the ranking (Sweden, Norway and Switzerland the first three), with the most industrialized European countries such as Germany and UK, however, penalized by insufficient environmental performance. Other highly developed countries are between 24th (Canada) and 52nd place (United States). The emerging nations are scattered in our sustainability ranking. Brazil (43rd) and Russia (45th) precede China (80th) and India (102nd), the latter two especially penalized because of their social complexity. The worst performances, in terms of overall sustainability, are in Sub-Saharan Africa (Comoros, the Central African Republic and Chad occupy the last places in the ranking).

Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals, Composite Index, Ranking, Indicators

JEL Classification: O44, O57, Q01

Suggested Citation

Campagnolo, Lorenza and Carraro, Carlo and Eboli, Fabio and Farnia, Luca L., Assessing SDGs: A New Methodology to Measure Sustainability (January 15, 2016). FEEM Working Paper No. 89.2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2715991 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2715991

Lorenza Campagnolo

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy

Carlo Carraro

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore 8
Venezia, 30124
Italy
+39 04 12700460 (Phone)
+39 04 12700412 (Fax)

Ca' Foscari University of Venice ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy
+39 04 1234 9166 (Phone)
+39 04 1234 9176 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.carlocarraro.org/

CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (Climate Policy Division) ( email )

Via Augusto Imperatore 16
Lecce, 73100
Italy
+39 0832 288650 (Phone)
+39 0832 277603 (Fax)

IPCC ( email )

C/O World Meteorological Organization
7bis Avenue de la Paix
Geneva, CH-1211
Switzerland
+41-22-730-8208/54/84 (Phone)
+41-22-730-8025/13 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels

1 Place du Congres
B-1000 Brussels, 1000
Belgium
+32 2 229 3911 (Phone)
+32 2 219 4151 (Fax)

Green Growth Knowledge Platform ( email )

International Environment House
11-13 chemin des Anemones
Geneva, 1219
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.greengrowthknowledge.org/

International Center for Climate Governance ( email )

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore 8
Venice, I-30124
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.iccgov.org/

Fabio Eboli (Contact Author)

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Corso Magenta 63
20123 Milan
Italy

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici ( email )

via Augusto Imperatore, 16
Lecce, I-73100
Italy

Luca L. Farnia

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy

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