Human Progress within Planetary Guard Rails
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.
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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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G20 countries are responsible for 82% of CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels, so the G20, with its formative influence on the world’s economy and politics, must play a leading role in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.
How can we make global development possible without compromising our natural life-support systems, and which forms of damage must be avoided? The WBGU defined "planetary guard rails" which help to keep such existential damage at bay. This short film explains the concept of guardrails.
New Sustainable Development Goals 2015
New Policy Paper "Human progress within planetary guard rails. A contribution to the SDG debate“
Environmental protection and poverty eradication are not opposites – on the contrary, measures to preserve humanity's natural life-support systems are not only a prerequisite for increasing prosperity among the world's lower income groups; they can also become the driver of such increases. However, these measures cannot be financed by the poor themselves. This is the conclusion of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) in its policy paper 'Human progress within planetary guard rails. A contribution to the SDG debate'. The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals are to be superseded next year by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are as a result currently dominating debates on development policy worldwide. A policy paper on this subject was presented to the German Federal Government today.