Achieving these 17 goals is possible, but at the current rate of addressing the SDGs it will not happen. The problem is partially inherent in the goals themselves – as they sometimes contradict each other. Economic Growth does not necessarily go together with reducing emissions, at least not with the current energy mix.
It is however not a surprise that the goals are sometimes contradicting, after all they are dealing with a (or “THE”) complex system – the behavior of the world population and all institutions that come with it.
Individually we have a solution for all problems.
Climate Change for instance – The first electric car was build around 1890, the first solar cell in 1953 and Shell and Exxon published a paper on the danger of climate change in the 1980s. In fact 1968, The Club of Rome was founded and published the Book “Limits to Growth”, as they realized that the world can’t continue on it’s path. The book holds true until today (Source: Is global collapse imminent? ).
The modeling of the Stockholm Resilience Center might be more sophisticated – but the fundamental truth has been known for more than 50 years. Despite all the knowledge and technology, we have still not been able to stop human made climate change. Why? We live in a complex world of diverging interests.
We are inherently bad at making decisions on large scale and long term horizon, especially when it comes to things where we can’t observe a direct effect. We believe that we need solution that can play by the rules of the system and just do things differently, and by doing so prove that there is a better way.