Every change, no matter how small, can cause larger changes elsewhere. The radical socio-ecological transformation envisioned under the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires anticipating and managing trade-offs, and the diplomatic cadre will have a significant role to play in maximising synergies, mitigating adverse knock-on consequences and developing strategies for mutual benefit.
This essay originally appeared as part of adelphi's volume "Driving Transformative Change:Foreign Affairs and the 2030 Agenda" (April 2019). The publication, comprised by 6 provocative essays, explores what contributions foreign policy can make on the road to achieving sustainable ways of life and provide guidance by pointing out entry points, priorities and trade-offs. They aim to inspire actors around the world to work together to initiate and boost the necessary changes and keep winning over new like-minded partners.