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Sustainable Development Goals in a Time of Crisis: Improving Ireland’s Institutional and Policy Response

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By Sarah Roche


The sustainable development goals (SDGs) provide an overarching set of aims and targets to be achieved by all UN Member States acting together and individually by 2030. Agreed in 2015, progress in the attainment of these goals has stalled in many areas since 2020 as multiple intersecting crises have shifted our attention elsewhere. This Working Paper reviews the disruption to the SDGs that COVID-19, conflict and climate change have caused, arguing that our current model of development, which has been operationalised through the SDGs and is predicated on achieving necessary economic growth in the Global South, will only be truly sustainable if balanced by ‘degrowth’ in the West / Global North. This year, 2023, marks the ‘halfway-point’ between the adoption of the SDGs and 2030, the year set for their completion. Now is an opportune time to review our commitment to the SDGs.

Key words: 

Sustainable Development Goals | Global Crises | COVID-19 | Conflict

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