Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

1 Aug 2021

COVID-19 reduces sustainability

Posted by Michael Keating

Among its many impacts, COVID-19 caused the world to lose ground on its transition to sustainability according to an independent experts’ review. The decline was driven largely by higher unemployment and poverty. According to The Sustainable Development Report poor countries were hit harder because they lacked the financial ability to help their citizens as much as rich nations that borrowed heavily to finance rescue programs. Along with COVID-19 the world is faced with the impacts of climate change, including more and greater heat waves, droughts, forest fires, storms and floods. At the same time countries are being hit by an increasing number of cyber-attacks.

This year’s top 10 countries on a sustainability scale are Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Norway, France, Slovenia and Estonia. A number of highly industrialized countries fell far below, with Canada at 21 and the United States at 32 in the rankings. Even many high-ranking countries were not performing well on sustainable consumption and production, climate action, and biodiversity protection. Countries were ranked on performance on 17 sustainable development goals set by the world in 2015.

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