14 April 2021
Experts Recommend Steps for SDG Implementation in the US
story highlights

Experts have provided suggestions for priorities the new US Presidential Administration should adopt to implement each of the 17 Global Goals.

The US should prepare and present its first Voluntary National Review during the 2022 HLPF, experts recommend.

They also call for the US to use the SDGs as its policy framework to guide development investment decisions, convene a national dialogue on a circular economy and materials conservation, and enhance civil rights and racial equity.

A new publication presents recommendations from a set of experts regarding steps the Biden-Harris Presidential Administration could take to implement the SDGs. 

Titled ‘Making America a Better Place for All: Sustainable Development Recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration’ and edited by John C. Dernbach and Scott E. Schang, the article published in the Environmental Law Reporter brings together suggestions from experts on each of the 17 Global Goals as well as overall recommendations.  

The US should commit to presenting a voluntary national review at the 2022 HLPF.

The article notes that the Biden-Harris Administration’s four priority areas are COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. Contributing experts were asked to “identify plausibly achievable changes at the federal level, given a closely divided federal government, that would have the highest impact on accelerating US progress” towards achievement of the SDGs by 2030.

In an overview section, Tony Pipa, Senior Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution, suggests that the US should commit to present a Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the July 2022 session of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Pipa also suggests that the US should use the SDGs as its policy framework to guide investment decisions made through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the US International Development Finance Corporation. 

Examples of the actions recommended by experts for each SDG are as follows: 

SDG 1 (No poverty): Enhance civil rights and racial equity, and increase health care access;

SDG 2 (Zero hunger): Increase SNAP benefits to address increased need due to the pandemic and economic downturn;

SDG 3 (Good health and well-being): Rebuild the public health system, and commit to immediate climate mitigation and adaptation measures;

SDG 4 (Quality education): Increase federal funding for traditional public schools, and renew the federal government’s commitment to eliminating racial segregation in schools;

SDG 5 (Gender equality): Support Small Business Administration programs that help women start and build small businesses;

SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation): Identify all US communities suffering from water inequity due to inadequate or nonexistent water and sanitation services, or due to contamination, identify the sources and underlying causes of the problem, and implement strategies to overcome them;

SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy): Invest financial and human capital into federal agencies best positioned to play a role in advancing clean energy;

SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth): Working with labor and business, flesh out “build back better” visions in every industry and promote implementation of those visions with all executive branch leverage (e.g., funding and regulation);

SDG 9 (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure): Improve access to reliable and affordable broadband/high-speed internet, and accelerate the widespread and equitable adoption of electric vehicles;

SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities): Adopt fiscal and social policies that promote equality, and improved regulation of global financial markets and institutions;

SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities): Support inter-local collaboration to identify, distribute, and implement best practices;

SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production): Convene a national dialogue on a circular economy and materials conservation, and design federal procurement legislation and policies so that procurement criteria favor products and services that are consistent with a circular economy;

SDG 13 (Climate action): Adopt stronger motor vehicle emission standards, and address corporate disclosures;

SDG 14 (Life below water): Direct the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regionally regulate certain non-point source pollutants, and work closely with US Congress to respond to the plastic pollution crisis;

SDG 15 (Life on land): Rapidly ramp down fossil fuel extraction, and promote green infrastructure;

SDG 16 (Peace, justice, and strong institutions): Rebuild transparent and accountable public institutions, and revitalize access to justice to ensure justice for all; and 

SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals): Fund and fully resource US global development efforts with the SDGs at the center, and improve the rigor and public credibility of data collection, analysis, and monitoring. 

[Publication: Making America a Better Place for All: Sustainable Development Recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration]

related posts

Independent Report Assesses SDG National Reporting at 2018 HLPF

Independent Report Assesses SDG National Reporting...

Advancing National SDG Implementation: Assessing VNR Reports to Learn from SDG Experiences

Advancing National SDG Implementation: Assessing V...