News from SDSN Germany

6th German SDSN Assembly: The 6th German SDSN Assembly took place on 26 November at the German Climate Consortium (DKK) in Berlin. At the annual event, which had the title ‘Achieving SDGs and climate goals together‘, member and partner organisations of SDSN Germany discussed the interfaces and challenges with participants from science, civil society, business and politics. The question how the link between climate targets and SDGs can be strengthened and how their communication in society and politics can be improved was also addressed.

Dirk Messner, Co-Chair of SDSN Germany, gave a keynote speech on the start of „our“ twenties and outlined which transformations will be necessary to achieve the SDGs and climate goals together.

In the subsequent session „Coal Exit, Climate Change and SDGs“ Clara Brandi (DIE), Jeremias Herberg (IASS), Jenny Kurwan (Wuppertal Institute) and Hannah Schindler (HVPG) introduced the topic with short impulses from their research projects and described the regional and global perspective and the linkage of climate targets and SDGs.

In the panel discussion with Marie-Luise Beck (Managing Director, DKK), Viktor Haase (Head of Department, NRW Ministry of the Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection), Arne Lietz (former Member of the European Parliament), Karolina Łyczywek (Head of the Office for the Coordination of Sustainability, Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy) and Imme Scholz (Acting Director, DIE), a joint discussion was held on how coal can be phased out in the context of climate change and the achievement of the SDGs.

New guidelines for the work of SDSN Germany: Last week, the steering committee of SDSN Germany has decided the new guidelines for the work of SDSN Germany „Departure into the twenties: achieving SDGs together” after a final consultation round with the members and partners of SDSN Germany. The guidelines are based on the founding paper of SDSN Germany from 2014 and describe the role, topics and working methods of the network.

The “2019 Europe Sustainable Development Report” was published on 19 November. It shows political decisions that must be taken by the EU in order to achieve the SDGs and climate targets and makes clear that both should be implemented together. Despite positive progress, the report also notes that as things stand, not a single country in the EU will achieve the SGDs and climate targets. In particular, SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production), SDG 13 (combating climate change), SDG 14 and 15 (protection and conservation of biodiversity) and SDG 2 (sustainable agriculture) pose major challenges.

The report also shows that the SDGs can only be achieved through extensive technological, social and political transformation. Among other things, the expansion of renewable energies, the promotion of sustainable agriculture and food production, the provision of more funds for sustainable investments and increased investment in education and innovation are necessary. At international level, the EU must strive for a leading position in the implementation of the SDGs, working to strengthen multilateralism and developing joint solutions in bilateral cooperation with key partners such as the African Union, China, Japan, North America and Russia.