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The aim of the project is to produce an ex-ante economic assessment of the post-2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the SDGs framework focuses on enforcing data collection to get information about the current state of the world and to highlight distance-to-target, a model-oriented framework can be useful to forecast the degree of successfulness of the SDGs framework by 2030 and beyond.

The APPS – Assessment, Projections and Policy of Sustainable Development Goals – project lies in the stream of research related to the quantitative assessment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations at the end of September 2015. The project consists of two phases. The first, retrospective, derives a composite multi-dimensional index and a worldwide ranking of current sustainability. This allows informing on strengths and weaknesses of today social and economic development, as well as environmental criticalities, all around the world. The second phase, prospective, aims evaluating the future trends of sustainability in the world by 2030. The assessment is carried out by means of an extended version of the recursive-dynamic computable general equilibrium ICES macro-economic model that includes social and environmental indicators. The final purpose is to highlight future challenges left unsolved in next 15 years of socio-economic development and analyze costs and benefits of specific policies to support the achievement of proposed targets.

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The business-as-usual scenarios traditionally depict the development of the socio-economic systems without considering the introduction of new policies. As such, a BAU scenario is useful as a reference benchmark. The policy counterfactuals will provide the ex-ante assessment of costs and benefits of planned actions and strategies aimed to achieve the SDGs, as well as their feasibility and potential trade-offs/interactions with other sustainability dimensions not directly considered by the policy intervention. A comprehensive composite index will constructed to measure how countries’ overall sustainability will change over time, thereby providing a world sustainability ranking across scenarios.