5 June 2018
Netherlands’ Second SDG Report Highlights Progress on Goals 8, 12 and 16
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The second SDG report on the Netherlands finds that the country is making progress towards the SDGs.

The report identifies concerns related to Goals and targets on the environment, energy, climate and inequality.

The report also highlights areas in which the Netherlands ranks highly among European countries, and other areas in which the Netherlands lags behind its European peers.

1 June 2018: The Netherlands has released its second SDG report, which finds the Netherlands ranks highly among European countries in several areas of progress towards the Global Goals. In other areas, the country lags behind its European peers.

In 2016, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) published its first report on “the state of affairs in the Netherlands,” based on the UN’s global SDG indicator framework, using statistics already available at CBS. For the second report, titled, ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: The Situation for the Netherlands,’ the government conducted an extensive consultation with over 30 ministries, knowledge institutes, policy analysis organizations and NGOs to produce data for a set of supplementary indicators. As a result, the report includes data on 35 SDG indicators that are measured with an alternative indicator. In addition to these alternative indicators, the report includes data on 98 official indicators, 34 more than in the 2016 report.

According to the report, the Netherlands shows positive progress on the majority of indicators for SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). In contrast, most indicators for SDG 1 (no poverty) and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities) suggest negative development in the country.

The report highlights several areas in which the Netherlands ranks highly among European countries. In particular, the Netherlands ranks highly on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, confidence among Dutch citizens in institutions, and good access to public transport. The report also identifies areas in which the Netherlands lags behind its European peers, including its proportion of renewable energy, which at 6% is among the smallest in Europe, and the number of women in managerial positions.

The report underscores the importance of the Netherlands’ national strategy in achieving the SDGs, observing that for many SDGs, the government still lacks national goals and aims. The report recommends continued monitoring of SDG progress, and ensuring improvement on areas in which additional progress is needed, such as the environment, energy, climate change and inequalities.

In 2017, the four countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and St Maarten) reported jointly to the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) with a Voluntary National Review (VNR). The government reported on strengths including GDP per capita, confidence in institutions, healthy life expectancy, participation in lifelong learning, and official development assistance (ODA). Areas for improvement included: social inclusion, such as people living below the poverty line and gender inequality; high fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per capita, along with a low share of renewable energy in the total energy supply relative to other European countries; and high environmental pressures placed on low-income countries and middle-income countries to meet the Netherlands’ food production needs. [Publication: The Sustainable Development Goals: The Situation for the Netherlands] [Statistics Netherlands Press Release] [2017 VNR report]

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