According to a report released on Thursday (Sept. 8), the cost of achieving global goals to combat problems including hunger, poverty, and climate change increased by 25% to US$176 trillion over the past year.
As per the Force for Good Initiative (FFGI) research, the funding gap for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 2030 targets supported by all member nations, increased even more over time, rising 35% to US$135 trillion.
While the world possessed more readily accessible wealth worth about US$450 trillion that could be used to address the issues, much of it was stored in pensions and other investments that had to be returned-focused and that many institutions did not associate with the SDGs.
The longer timeline and historical underfunding were both contributing factors, but the larger price tag was also fueled by soaring inflation and the mounting expenses of achieving net-zero carbon emissions, it said.
According to Ketan Patel, creator of the FFGI, which works with finance organizations to advance sustainable development, "our challenge is the SDGs are seen as a worthy cause but not really as a business cause that can give a real return to the clients of those institutions."
Clients must encourage institutions and the businesses they invest in to focus on the SDGs, but institutions must also recognize the opportunity, he continued.
These include providing affordable housing for the estimated 2.4 billion urban dwellers by 2050, funding the expanding education technology sector and assisting the 260 million children who are not currently enrolled in school, and implementing digital banking to assist the 67% of the world's population that lacks access to formal banking services.
As a result of escalating economic constraints, certain SDGs have made less progress, with 210 million more people experiencing food insecurity and 100 million more people living in extreme poverty, according to the report.
"It can be profitable to serve those customers, and we should do so," Patel said.
A unifying framework for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, both now and in the future, is provided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was accepted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call to action for all nations-developed and developing-in a global partnership, are at the center of it.
They understand that combating poverty and other forms of deprivation requires policies that enhance health and education, lessen inequality, promote economic growth, combat climate change, and fight to protect our oceans and forests.