Most industrialized countries in the OECD are not yet ready for the international community's new sustainability pledge. Many are nowhere near achieving the global policy objectives that are to be adopted by the heads of state or government at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit this month. Indeed, there is the danger that the targets for many indicators will be missed entirely. The greatest deficits of the industrialized nations lie in their less-than-sustainable production and consumption behavior. In addition, in many cases their economic systems also exacerbate the trend toward social inequality.
This is the result of a comparative study of all 34 OECD states conducted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung on the basis of 34 indicators for the 17 future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The study is the first one worldwide to investigate systematically the present status of each of these countries, both individually and in comparison with one another. This snapshot additionally identifies countries that can serve as role models with regard to particular SDGs, while also pointing out where substantial deficits still exist.
According to the study, the countries best positioned to achieve the new UN goals are Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Switzerland. The nations with the lowest ranking are the USA, Greece, Chile, Hungary, Turkey and Mexico.