According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), this is the case between $1,179 and $1,383 per person, per year.
The study takes into account 50 SDG indicators in 90 countries, covering three-quarters of the world’s population.
For the world’s 48 developing economies, the deficit is estimated at $337 billion per year if they are to take the required action on climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
Expanding to all developing economies, using average per capita costs for the 48 in the study, total annual needs rise to between $6.9 trillion and $7.6 trillion.
While finding these types of investments will likely be extremely difficult for countries with limited resources, the solution lies in allocating financing to cross-cutting areas, such as education, that also promote gender equality, poverty reduction and innovation – all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ) goals.
“Merely increasing financial resources does not guarantee success. Governments, companies, investors and institutions must use their resources strategically,” said Anu Peltola, head of UNCTAD Statistics. “They don’t have to spend every dollar to achieve every goal.”
UNCTAD analyzes show that the world’s richest economies are expected to account for almost 80 percent of SDG spending between now and 2030. These countries generally face the highest annual costs per capita and the largest financing gaps.
Small island developing states also face high costs, with the required expenditure for gender equality estimated at US$3,724 per person, almost three times the average global need.
And while the least developed countries face much lower per capita costs, the required expenditure as a percentage of each country’s total economic output (GDP) is significant: for education alone it is 47 percent.
The UNCTAD analysis reveals major shortcomings in national spending trends towards sustainability. The largest gap is in the area of inclusive digitalization, at $468 billion per year. Closing this gap would require a 9 percent increase in annual spending.
Six areas of transformation
Conversely, improving social protection and decent job opportunities requires less investment for the world’s 48 developing economies, at $294 billion, which would require a six percent increase in annual spending.
The analysis focuses on six paths for transformation through sustainable development: social protection and decent jobs, education transformation, food systems, climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, energy transition and inclusive digitalization.
It covers indicators ranging from reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing protected forest cover to ensuring universal access to electricity and internet, promoting literacy, fighting hunger and reducing mortality.
The UNCTAD report also emphasizes the need to tackle the global debt crisis. About 3.3 billion people live in countries that spend more on interest payments on debt than on essential public services such as education and healthcare.