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Published:
Last Updated:
21 Oct 2020

Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2020: Towards sustainable economies

Decades of high economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region have transformed its socioeconomic landscape – lifting a billion people out of extreme poverty in the past two decades and raising living standards for even greater numbers. However, such growth has been accompanied by growing inequality of income and opportunity and is beginning to breach planetary limits, thus endangering the well-being of future generations. Yet, the Asia-Pacific region is not on track to achieve any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 if they continue on their business-as-usual pathway. The largest regression is in Goal 12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. This situation calls for a rethink of the economic growth-centric development model.

The 2020 Survey proposes a transition towards cleaner production and less material-intensive lifestyles supported by enabling policies. It further calls for all stakeholders, notably governments, businesses and consumers, to urgently align their own goals and actions with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It identifies the constraints that different stakeholders face and provides a holistic policy package to power through the challenges.

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