News from SDSN Germany

Statement by SDSN Germany „Sustainable development policy in crisis mode“

Logo SDSN Germany

©SDSN Germany

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold societies, economies and political leaders in its thrall, sustainable development policy risks grinding to a halt. Now, in the fifth year since the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted and the Paris Climate Agreement was signed, sustainable development policy faces two challenges simultaneously: how to prove its relevance in helping to shape the response to the crisis while also ensuring its own future viability during precisely this crisis?

The Leadership Council of SDSN Germany adopted six proposals on 4th June dealing with how sustainable development policy and its actors can engage now in crisis management and at the same time, contribute to a fundamental advancement of Germany’s National Sustainable Development Strategy:

  1. Persevering with the European Green Deal and placing it at the forefront of sustainable development policy and efforts to tackle the crisis,
  2. Expanding the involvement of sustainability actors in efforts to tackle the crisis – Shaping Germany’s National Sustainable Development Strategy as an instrument and expression of the crisis response,
  3. Human well-being as a transformation task: reviewing health goals,
  4. Make the transformative lever of finance an integral part of Germany’s National Sustainable Development Strategy now and harness sustainable finance as a key lever for crisis response,
  5. Strengthen community- and region-level governance of rebuilding and sustainable development.

The statement builds upon the five proposals of SDSN Germany concerning the structural advancement of the German Sustainable Development Strategy of March 2020 and complements it with regard to the circumstances changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, the statement describes that key processes underpinning sustainable development policy are being postponed, restricted or put at risk. In addition, efforts to update Germany’s National Sustainable Development Strategy have been postponed to 2021. In contrast, the statement highlights that due to the COVID-19 pandemic these advancements are now more important and necessary than before. SDSN Germany underlines the relevance of comprehensive situational assessments and unsparing analyses demanded by the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development (PBnE) and the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE). Even at this early stage, preparations have to be initiated for a structural reboot of Germany’s National Sustainable Development Strategy at the beginning of the new legislative period in 2021.