Policymaking requires an in-depth understanding of the cause-and-effect relationships between the sustainable development goals. However, due to the complex nature of socio-economic and environmental systems, this is still a challenging task. In the present article, the interconnectedness of the United Nations (UN) sustainability goals is measured using the Granger causality analysis of their indicators. The applicability of the causality analysis is validated through the predictions of the World3 model. The causal relationships are represented as a network of sustainability indicators providing the opportunity for the application of network analysis techniques. Based on the analysis of 801 UN indicator types in 283 geographical regions, approximately 4000 causal relationships were identified and the most important global connections were represented in a causal loop network. The results highlight the drastic deficiency of the analysed datasets, the strong interconnectedness of the sustainability targets and the applicability of the extracted causal loop network. The analysis of the causal loop networks emphasised the problems of poverty, proper sanitation and economic support in sustainable development.
- Causal analysis
- Measure of interconnectedness
- Sustainability goals
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law