Human Progress within Planetary Guardrails: a Contribution to the SDG Debate


Policy Paper 8
WBGU, Berlin, 2014
ISBN 978-3-936191-70-7


download as pdf (874 KB)

The year 2015 has special importance for the transformation towards sustainable ­development. New Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are then supposed to ­replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The aim is to offer a new orientation for political action in the coming decades. The WBGU recommends orienting the new catalogue of goals towards the key message of the 1992 Earth Summit: that development and environmental protection must be considered together and do not contradict each other. The SDGs should not be reduced to poverty eradication, but must address all dimensions of sustainable development. In particular, global environmental change must be incorporated, otherwise even poverty eradication will become ­impossible. Up to now, too little attention has been paid to this link in the ongoing discourse on SDGs. Although many reports mention the concept of planetary guard rails or planetary boundaries, they do not back this up with specific targets. The WBGU ­presents recommendations on how guard rails for global environmental problems should be incorporated in the SDG catalogue and operationalized by means of ­corresponding targets.


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