With many parts of the world suffering from increasingly severe heatwaves and other natural and human calamities, the United Nations reports that only 12% of the targets associated with the Sustainable Development Goals are on track to be met by 2030.

More than ever, it behooves us to understand why.

Progress has been hampered by the “polycrisis” of COVID-19, climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, wars in Ukraine and elsewhere, rising debt distress, and food and energy shortages. The annual SDG financing gap has widened from $2.5 trillion in 2015 to more than $4 trillion in 2023 and developed countries still have not fulfilled their promise made in 2009 to provide $100 billion in annual climate financing to developing countries starting in 2020.