Estonia ranks among the top countries in the world in terms of sustainable development indicators

15.06.2020 | 10:05

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The overview presented to the UN shows that Estonia ranks 10th in the Global Sustainable Development Index table.

‘Estonia’s situation in the pursuit of sustainable development goals may broadly be judged as good’, said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. ‘The consistent work has also brought success – compared to 2016, Estonia's position has improved considerably and we have risen from 21st place to 10th in the Sustainable Development Index table’.

‘Our analyses show that there are a number of areas in Estonia in which we are in a good position in the comparison of countries’, explained Henry Kattago, Strategy Director of the Government Office, who also highlighted high quality and accessible education, fast and accessible services thanks to e-solutions, and efficient health care management as strengths. The relative importance of renewable energy in final energy consumption has also increased.

‘Of course, it must be taken into account that the spread of coronavirus in the first half of 2020 has affected the realisation of sustainable development goals in a number of areas, but we can assess its advanced effects in the following reviews’, Kattago specified.

According to Kattago, Estonia also has several areas in which efforts must be continued. ‘What really catches the eye is gender inequality. In Estonia, the pay gap has decreased in recent years, but it remains one of the biggest in Europe’, he said. ‘The risk of poverty for women and people with disabilities, including families with disabled children, should also be reduced. There are also problems with waste management, waste recycling and greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity should be preserved’.

The report shows that human health indicators – in particular mental health – could also be better, and that preventable deaths could be reduced.

Global sustainable development goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted at the UN Summit on 25 September 2015. The declaration by global Heads of State and Government on ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ includes 17 global Sustainable Development Goals, 169 sub-objectives, guidelines for their implementation, and a reporting system. Country reviews regarding the implementation of global Sustainable Development Goals will be presented in July, at the UN High Level Political Forum.

The main goal of the action plan is to eradicate poverty everywhere and to ensure dignity and a good quality of life for all, while respecting the capacity of the natural environment. The goals of the action plan focus on improving the situation in the economic, social and environmental fields, including the stopping of climate change.

Global Sustainable Development Goals are implemented in Estonia through sectoral development plans and action plans, and are integrated into government-level sectoral development plans. The Sustainable Development Goals are also based on the preparation of the country's long-term strategy “Estonia 2035”. In addition to the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals, Estonia also observes the goal of the viability of the cultural space, as a result of Estonia's national strategy for sustainable development “Sustainable Estonia 21”.

An overview of the implementation of the UN action plan 2030 in Estonia was prepared by the Strategy Unit of the Government Office, with a total of 43 partners, including non-governmental organisations, enterprises and local government units, in addition to ministries and the sustainable development commission, also making a contribution. The report was presented for the second time, with the first report having been prepared by Estonia in 2016.


Additional information: Eili Lepik, Deputy Strategy Director of the Government Office, +372 693 5619,