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 skilled workforce. To avoid further ecological degradation and climate change, this also calls for 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:

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, but the challenge is urgent.

We are the last people who can prevent catastrophe on the planet. We have no excuse for failure.UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina J. Mohammed
LDCs’ pace too slow to double their manufacturing share in value added by 2030: +0.7 percentage points needed between 2019 and 2030 to make up lost ground vs. +0.42 in 2019.
SDG indicator 9.2.1
Share of manufacturing employment in total employment increased in LDCs by 87% since 2005 – on track for 2030.
SDG indicator 9.2.2
Medium and high-tech manufacturing share very slowly increasing in developing economies.
SDG indicator 9.b.1

High income countries spend almost 10 times more than low income countries on R&D as a percentage of GDP.
SDG indicator 9.5.1
CO2 emissions estimated to have declined by 7% in 2020, largely due to COVID-19, and the same pace needs to continue to reach the Paris 1.5°C target.
SDG indicator 9.4.1
World carbon intensity of GDP decreasing – most of all in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, but less so in Latin America and the Caribbean.
SDG Pulse shares preliminary results of company sustainability reporting across the World based on a sample of two global databases.
UNCTAD & UNEP SDG indicator 12.6.1
Energy intensity reducing faster than before, almost 2% per year since 2008.
SDG indicator 7.3.1

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