SDSN Supports Eurostat in Strengthening Indicators of International Spillovers

As part of a 3-year project, SDSN lends its expertise in measuring international spillover effects to the statistical office of the European Union and has co-written a chapter on spillovers for the new Eurostat report on SDGs.

On June 15, the statistical office of the European Union — Eurostat — published the 2021 edition of the official report for monitoring progress on the Sustainable Development Goals in the EU. The report, titled Sustainable development in the European Union: Monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context, is the fifth edition of its kind and tracks the advances and challenges of the European Union on the SDGs based on 102 indicators. This year’s report includes an early analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on the SDGs in Europe.

At the end of 2020, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, together with the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the University of Sydney, entered into a three-year collaboration with Eurostat to provide expertise, knowledge, and data on issues related to transboundary spillover impacts and SDG interlinkages (synergies and trade-offs). Eurostat’s selection of the SDSN for this collaboration is a recognition of the SDSN’s cutting-edge work on these topics, including in the Sustainable Development Report, the Global Commons Stewardship Index, the interactive data visualization on bilateral spillover impacts, and various working papers.

During the first phase of its collaboration with Eurostat, the SDSN supported the writing of a chapter on spillover impacts that is featured in Eurostat’s new monitoring report. The chapter also includes metrics on positive and negative spillover impacts caused to satisfy consumption in EU member states, including data on CO₂ emissions, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, employment, and income generated abroad. The chapter is accessible online for free as part of official monitoring report (pp. 45-55): https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-statistical-books/product/-/asset_publisher/AJvyaqHIoCCp/…

International spillover effects occur when one country’s actions generate benefits or impose costs on another country that are not reflected in market prices, and therefore are not “internalized” by the actions of consumers and producers. Such spillover effects can undermine other countries’ efforts to achieve the SDGs. Researchers use Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO) tables combined with “satellite accounts” of environmental resource use (e.g., land, water, timber), pollution (e.g., reactive nitrogen), or socioeconomic impacts (e.g., child labor, work accidents, gender pay gap) to quantify these spillover impacts.

If you have any questions regarding our work on spillover impacts, please write to the SDG Index team at sdgindex@unsdsn.org.
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