Structural transformation

Sustainable long-term growth that provides economies opportunities for everyone can only be achieved through a shift to higher value-added productive activities. This requires investment, the adoption of technological advancements, and a better prepared workforce. To avoid further ecological degradation and climate change, this also means a shift to more efficient and less environmentally damaging economic activities.

Transforming to more sustainable consumption and production patterns, will not only be good for the economy, but also a necessity for the environment. This theme of SDG Pulse looks at two aspects of structural transformation:

  1. We look for evidence of a shift towards Sustainable industrialization and higher technology and more skills-intensive economic activities, and review the following SDG indicators and related data and statistics:
    • SDG indicator 9.2.1 Manufacturing value added as a proportion of GDP and per capita
    • SDG indicator 9.2.2 Manufacturing employment as a proportion of total employment
    • SDG indicator 9.b.1 Proportion of medium and high-tech industry value added in total manufacturing value added
    • SDG indicator 9.5.1 Research and development expenditure as a proportion of GDP
    • SDG indicator 9.5.2 Researchers (in full-time equivalent) per million inhabitants
  2. We search for Signs of a greening economy in the face of serious climate concerns, and review the following SDG indicators and related data and statistics:
    • SDG 9.4.1 Carbon dioxide emissions per unit of value added
    • SDG 7.3.1 Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP
    • SDG 12.6.1 Companies publishing sustainability reports

According to UNFCCC, to achieve the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement, the world needs to deploy climate technologies on a much greater scale, and innovation plays a key role. The climate challenge is immediate, and as statistics in the SDG Pulse demonstrate, we can reduce carbon intensity of the economy through technological and economic transformation.

Climate change is one of the great dangers we face and it’s one we can prevent.
Stephen Hawking

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