In DepthUNITED NATIONS

Sustainable goals from U.N. under fire

Science  13 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6223, pp. 702-703
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6223.702

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Summary

The United Nations is developing a list of Sustainable Development Goals, which are intended to guide efforts to reduce poverty and improve well-being by 2030 while protecting the planet. The 17 goals include 169 targets to measure progress. But in a comprehensive review, scientists say the many targets must be clarified and quantified. Many lack specific endpoints and time frames or can't be measured. The problem with vague goals, experts say, is that they allow too much wiggle room in evaluating progress. It is not clear how much the draft targets will be changed before they are finalized at a summit in September.