Editorials represent Nature’s collective voice on the week’s news, providing a commentary on a range of topics, from research discoveries to major world events involving science. And although 2020 has been dominated by just one topic, we’ve aimed to stay on top of other important developments, too.
January: environmental ‘super-year’ ahead
Nature’s first editorial of 2020 marked the beginning of what was expected to be a super-year for the environment and sustainable development, with world leaders poised to meet to update their commitments in these areas. Most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were established by the United Nations in 2015, were not on track even before the coronavirus pandemic, and global targets to tackle climate change and reduce biodiversity loss were also behind schedule. We urged nations to consider mandatory reporting of their progress towards the SDGs, as most do for economic data. Research published in Nature from a joint US–China team provided the outlines for such a reporting framework1.