Sustainability beyond Sustainable Development Goals – ERC grant for Prajal Pradhan

02/24/2023 - For his proposal “Transformation towards long-term sustainability beyond Sustainable Development Goals” Prajal Pradhan, senior scientist at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) receives the highly prestigious HORIZON Starting Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) amounting to 1,5 million Euro.
Sustainability beyond Sustainable Development Goals – ERC grant for Prajal Pradhan
Prajal Pradhan/PIK

Countries are not on track to meet the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030. Although SDGs aim to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path, countries are not yet able to make transformative changes for long-term sustainability that requires building social prosperity and foundations within planetary boundaries.

“Failing to achieve SDGs will negatively affect billions of people and worsen environmental conditions and socio-economic problems. Therefore, our research project BeyondSDG aims to understand the necessary conditions for long-term sustainability, including achieving SDGs,” says Prajal Pradhan.

The project that now is funded by the ERC grant will identify critical targets for prioritising SDGs, investigate the effects of (under)achieving SDGs on long-term sustainability beyond 2030; and identify sustainability targets for the post-2030 development agenda. To this end, BeyondSDG will apply a threefold scientific approach that combines statistical analysis of empirical and modelled data, qualitative analysis of literature, and knowledge co-creation with stakeholders, including sectoral experts and policymakers, based on systems thinking.

“This combination of three approaches is complementary and essential to deal with the complex topic of long-term sustainability,” says Johan Rockström, director of PIK. “Consequently, BeyondSDG will lead to a breakthrough in interdisciplinary research by combining approaches from sustainability science, earth system modelling, and environment and resource management.”

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