Development and justice through transformation: The Four Big ‘I’s

–  A contribution to Germany´s G20 presidency in 2017 –


Special Report 2016



2015 saw a historic double success for sustainability and climate policy. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Paris Agreement on climate ­protection establish a system of ambitious policy goals for the world. The group of twenty major ­industrialized and emerging economies (G20) now needs to resolutely advance implementation of both agreements, seizing the opportunity of this ‘Great Transformation’ to sustainability as a unique ­modernization project that could offer substantial economic development opportunities. more...


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Humanity on the move: Unlocking the transformative power of cities

Flagship Report 2016


– A Contribution to Habitat III –


The momentum of urbanization and its impacts are so massive that we must face up to this trend. In view of the existing cognitive, technical, economic and institutional path dependencies, a policy of business as usual – i.e. an unstructured, quasi-automatic urbanization – would lead to a non-sustainable ‘world cities society’. Only if cities and urban societies are sufficiently empowered can they make use of the opportunities for sustainability and successfully follow the urban transformation pathways. The success or failure of the Great Transformation will be decided in the cities. The WBGU discusses the relevant conditions for the success of this transformation in this report.

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Climate Protection as a World Citizen Movement

Special Report


The 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes it unmistakeably clear: unacceptable climate impacts, which are likely to escalate beyond the 2°C guard rail, can only be avoided if further increases in greenhouse-gas concentrations are halted as soon as possible. The WBGU therefore recommends reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels to zero by 2070 at the latest. This policy goal is both ambitious and incisive, because 'the zero target must be reached' by every country, every municipality, every company and every citizen if the world as a whole is to become climate-neutral. more...


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World in Transition - Governing the Marine Heritage

Flagship Report

Despite numerous international treaties and voluntary commitments, the seas are still being massively overfished, polluted and increasingly exploited as the Earth's last resort. In view of the oceans’ poor condition the WBGU developed a long-term vision of the conservation and sustainable use of the blue continent.

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