Frank Biermann, Professor of Global Sustainability Governance, has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant. He will use this prestigious European grant worth EUR 2.5 million to conduct research into the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2015. The ERC Advanced Grant is the European Research Council's highest research grant and is allocated annually to senior researchers whose groundbreaking work opens up new directions in their field.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 ambitious goals set by the United Nations in 2015. Aiming to solve humanity's greatest problems by 2030, they range from bringing an end to extreme poverty and hunger to the effective protection of threatened ecosystems and social justice for all. The 17 goals include 169 specific targets for which indicators have been developed.
Is the UN's approach effective?
But does this approach to international policy using global goals have any chance of success? Will the world become more sustainable and fair because the United Nations has set itself 17 Sustainable Development Goals?
This is the key question in Biermann's political science research. “We intend to conduct extensive research on whether the system is becoming more effective and inclusive. For example, the UN proposes that all countries will be involved in this agenda. But is this actually happening in practice – will smaller developing countries gain greater influence over the course of time as a result of this process? Or will the larger countries continue to make all the decisions?”