From ambition to execution: policies in support of Sustainable Development Goals

This paper examines selected policy issues of importance for achieving individual SDGs, drawing on recent analytical work conducted at the IMF. The topics examined include: how to achieve sustained economic growth in developing countries; how to ensure that economic growth is inclusive, reducing inequalities while benefiting all; and how to use market-based policies to promote environmental sustainability over the medium term. The paper examines the following common threads, which can help countries—supported by the international community—to implement their development agenda: sustainable growth, inclusive growth, and enhancing climate and environmental sustainability. In regards to the latter, the paper notes that enhancing resilience to natural disasters demands a multi-pillar strategy for risk management at the national, regional, and global levels. The authors also maintain that reducing inefficient and poorly-targeted energy subsidies—and getting energy prices right—can go a long way in addressing environmental sustainability, with the added benefit of creating fiscal space for more growth-oriented spending. Pricing policies accompanied by regulations can also play an important role in the more efficient management of water resources, improving both economic prospects and the welfare of populations vulnerable to chronic and crisis-related lack of water access. Finally, financial sector policies can contribute to mitigating the impact and adapting to the consequences of adverse climate-related events.