World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability

Flagship Report 2011


German Advisory Council on Global Change

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4-page abstracts of selected issues:

  • Factsheet 1/2011: A Social Contract for Sustainability
    (pdf, 106 KB)
  • Factsheet 2/2011: Transforming Energy Systems
    (pdf, 112 KB)
  • Factsheet 3/2011: Global Megatrends
    (pdf, 380 KB)
  • Factsheet 4/2011: The Transformation towards Sustainability (pdf, 127 KB)
  • Factsheet 5: Research and Education: Drivers of Transformation (pdf, 120 KB)

In this report, the WBGU explains the reasons for the desperate need for a post-fossil economic strategy, yet it also concludes that the transition to sustainability is achievable, and presents ten concrete packages of measures to accelerate the imperative restructuring. If the transformation really is to succeed, we have to enter into a social contract for innovation, in the form of a new kind of discourse between governments and citizens, both within and beyond the boundaries of the nation state. 

The new WBGU-Study „A Social Contract for Sustainability” appears at a time in which people around the world are increasingly committed to creating a future that is both sustainable and climate-safe. The study shows that such a future will only be possible if governments, business and  civil society collectively set the right course, making the most of regional, national and global cooperation. An important call to cross-cutting integrated action, the book deserves wide recognition.
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2010-2016)

"The geopolitical world is changing beyond recognition. The challenge of ensuring that in the future people can live better than today, while doing so within the Planetary Boundaries has yet to be met.  Markets and the environment are increasingly globalized.  Social protection and the search for equity are not, though there are interesting signs of change.  There are many international institutions, but few are global.  We have known for some time the necessary individual solutions required for the transition.  Now, the WBGU report `World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability´ offers us extremely interesting ideas on how we can bring all this together collectively through a new social contract that is global, equitable and green, and requires a new kind of global citizenship: the first steps toward a global political project for global sustainability."

Janos Pasztor, Executive Secretary UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability 2010-12

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