On the 1st of January, 2016, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Growth came into force. Implemented during by the UN, it aims to accomplish 17 goals:
Good health and well-being
Clean Water and Sanitation
Affordable and Clean Energy
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Responsible Consumption and Production
Life Below Water
Life on Land
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Partnership for the Goals
This agenda calls for all nations and all people to work towards these goals. These goals are not legally binding, however governments are expected to take initiatives to incorporate these goals into their national framework.
There is a level of improvement in material living standards (more jobs, better wages) and non material living standards (decline in child mortality rates, access to clean water and sanitation) which has been achieved in some countries, however, the progress itself has been uneven. Some nations have rising disparities due to economic shocks such as conflicts. This makes it difficult for growth to occur, because investment is too risky.
Achieving a balanced distribution of wealth and eliminating poverty is more difficult during times of economic uncertainty, because consumer and business confidence levels are low, and there tends to be a weaker labour force. In theory, poverty can only be eliminated if the economic growth occurring is sustainable. Generally, rapid, unsustainable growth leads to wealth disparities or job instability.
Many countries with high levels of poverty have young populations. This is likely to lead in a demographic dividend, which is an acceleration in economic growth due to and increasing labour force.
Migration is also increasing as a whole, particularly from developing nations with high poverty levels. This will lead to a mutually beneficial exchange with labour shortages being met in one country and remittances being sent to another country. Internal migration is also increasing, which pushes countries towards urbanisation. This improves both material and non material living standards, as well as increasing GDP growth, due to more labour.
The over exploitation of ecosystems, unsustainable production/consumption and population growth makes it more difficult to achieve the goals for sustainability.
Both public sector and private sectors need to be aligned with the goals to be achieved. An increased, or increasing availability of resources will drive economic growth.
Changes in technology could also aid in achieving these goals. For example, the increasing availability of vaccinations has greatly improved non material living standards. Likewise, the increasing availability of better capital resources may help increase productivity and boost AD for these countries.