The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on all nations to accomplish 17 broad global development goals by 2030. However, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a challenging period in human history, causing large-scale impacts on society and the environment as governments shift priorities and divert funding in response to this pandemic. Through a literature survey and data acquirement from various international organizations (e.g. United Nations and European Space Agency), this manuscript is intended to provide critical insights into the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the SDGs. We briefly describe this pandemic's positive and short-term effects on the environment, followed by a critical evaluation of its potential long-term impacts on the environment, society, and the SDGs. On the basis of COVID-19 effects, the SDGs are classified into three categories: directly-affected SDGs, indirectly-affected SDGs, and a stand-alone category. The COVID-19-induced lockdowns and restrictions resulted in a short-term decline in environmental pollution and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, providing valuable data for climate advocates and researchers. These positive impacts were essentially temporary due to the synchronized global response to the pandemic. The halted focus on the progress of the SDGs greatly impacts the global green transition to a healthy and sustainable world. COVID-19 threatens to impede the progress toward a prosperous, environment-friendly, and sustainable global development in multiple ways. These multi-dimensional threats have been critically evaluated, along with a description of potential solutions to curtail the adverse effects of COVID-19 on the SDGs. Considering the limited data regarding the impacts of the pandemic on the SDGs, diverse collaborative studies at the regional and global levels are recommended.
- Multiple effects
- Sustainable development goals
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment