UN Sustainable Development Goals assessment

Achieving all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a remarkable challenge, requiring the most rigorous, integrated science. To aid this endeavor, the Transitions to New Technologies (TNT) Program contributed to a major report providing the first scientific assessment of the SDGs.

© Tom Wang | Dreamstime

© Tom Wang | Dreamstime

In the report, which was convened by the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council, each of the 17 SDGs is rigorously assessed. TNT researcher Luis Gomez Echeverri contributed to the chapter on goal seven: ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all [1]. The report concluded that only 49 out of a total of 169 specific targets underlying the SDGs are well developed, with the remaining 120 (or over 70 percent) requiring significant strengthening of their definitions and specificity, or significant additional work to make them operational.

The role of science will therefore be first to strengthen the definition and specificity of the SDGs and their derived targets, before exploring pathways of their implementation and policy recommendations to maximize sectorial policy synergies while minimizing trade-offs.


[1] Uerge-Vorsatz D, Gomez-Echeverri L, St. Clair AL, Jones F, & Graham P (2015). Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. In: Review of the Sustainable Goals: The Science Perspective


International Council for Science (ICSU)

International Social Science Council (ISSC), France

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Last edited: 23 March 2016


Luis Gomez Echeverri

Senior Advisor to the Program Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Arnulf Grubler

Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313