Last September, urged on by Pope Francis, the United Nations and its 193 member states embraced the most sweeping quest yet to, basically, save the world and everyone in it — dubbed the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s a global agenda to fix climate change, stop hunger, end poverty, extend health and access to jobs, and vastly more — all by 2030.
The goals comprise no less than 17 separate items and 169 “targets” within them. And this isn’t just an airy exercise — the targets are quite specific (“By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average”). That means that at least in many cases, countries can actually be measured on how they’re faring in meeting these goals, based on a large range of sociological, economic and other indicators.