Is There A Solution To The $10 Trillion SDG Funding Gap?
Making The Influence Of Idling Trillions Work For Funding SDGs
The first UN summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) kicks off today in New York. The event also marks a cumulative rise in the SDG funding gap of $10 trillion on its 4th anniversary. The funding gap makes the SDGs almost impossible to achieve by 2030. No sustainability issue can be more serious than that. Is there a solution?
The world may not be unanimous on anything. But when it comes to our own sustainability all voices are in unison.
On September 25, 2015, the 193-Member United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A set of 17 bold new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were drafted to be achieved by 2030. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed it as a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.
SDG Summit 2019
On 24 and 25 September 2019, Heads of State and Government will gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to follow up and comprehensively review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs.
The event is the first UN summit on the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015. The UN website states:
THE 2030 AGENDA IS THE PLAN OF ACTION FOR PEOPLE, PLANET AND, PROSPERITY
It aims to transform our world and to improve people's lives and prosperity on a healthy planet. It applies to all countries through partnerships and peace. Countries, regions, cities, the business sector, and civil society are actively engaged in implementing the Agenda and the SDGs. They are mobilizing efforts to end all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. The summit will be a space to discuss the huge efforts that are being made and to identify future actions for accelerating progress towards the SDGs.
The Progress In Four Years & The Challenge
The SDGs represent real progress. The progress that gives everyone across diverse regions, cultures, sectors, a common cause to make our planet a better place through sustainable development. They get everyone on the same page and represent a clear roadmap on where humanity wants to go from here.
But, according to a British think tank who monitors development progress using a specially designed SDG Scorecard 2030 to track the progress:
"We've graded targets from 'A' to 'F', based on how much faster progress will need to be if we are to meet the target by 2030."
The results reveal an uncomfortable truth:
"without a big push, we won't meet any of the SDG targets under review."
No 'A' grades were awarded.
While all the 193 signatory countries are mobilizing efforts there is one major challenge that's jeopardizing the progress seriously. That is the funding gap.
"We need to act urgently to drive progress," UN Secretary General Guterres remarked in his latest concern regarding financing the 2030 Agenda.
As the UN Agenda 2030 goals get impossible to achieve on account of the trillions in cumulative funding deficit, the President of the last General Assembly of the United Nations stressed that:
time is running out for finding SDG financing solutions, and that urgent and bold actions are required.
SDGs are facing an unresolved $2.5 Trillion annual funding gap. On its 4th anniversary, the cumulative funding deficit is hitting $10 Trillion. This is despite;
a) SDGs offering impact investment opportunities worth at least $12 Trillion, and,
b) the world being awash with money, the 21st century economics has moved from being one of scarcity to one of abundance.
Yet, the opportunity and abundance is not capitalized, and poverty still exists. Wealth gap still keeps growing.
The problem is one of harvesting the resources, monetizing the resources, creating liquidity of the assets and redistributing them.
So, do we need to rethink economics?
Rethinking Economics For Sustainability
Funding sustainability is not only a serious problem, it is aggravating annually by at least $2.5 trillion. It is indeed the mother of all the 21st century economic problems. The economic abundance that we see today compels us to digress from the traditional economic theories. And, in doing that, technology plays an important role.
Today's technology can not only monetize assets and create a new super asset class of Influence Capital worth a quadrillion, but use that influence capital to crowdfund global sustainability without risking any of those assets.
At the end of the day, funding sustainability should be about technologically enabled, equitable and incentivized sharing of assets seamlessly between those who "have" with those who "need." That's Sharonomics.
The article was simultaneously published here