Keynote Speech at the GIZ Staff Retreat „Sustainability Global“

Under the overarching slogan „Sustainability Global“, Dr. Steffen Bauer, Head of the Klimalog project, gave a keynote speech on the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as precursors of a transformative decade, the „green twenties“, at the staff retreat of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Corporate Development organizational unit on 8 March.

Thinking the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement together

Against the backdrop of the Corona pandemic, Bauer emphasised the need for an integrated, systemic view of sustainable development. The Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda offer both normative foundations and concrete targets.

It is true that the COVID-19 pandemic initially represents a setback for the achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the progress of international climate policy. At the same time, however, it offers unprecedented opportunities, provided that the enormous efforts to overcome the Corona crisis economically and socially are aligned with sustainability and climate goals („build forward better“). In this context, both synergies and trade-offs between climate and development policy need to be considered. In practice, there is still a discrepancy between analytical insight into systemic interrelationships and sectoral action, Bauer said.

Blind spot biodiversity and ecosystems

As a result, the significance of biodiversity and ecosystems, land and water resources for central development concerns and nature-based solutions are too often ignored. The development goal of „zero hunger“ is exemplary for the tension between climate change, rural development and the consumption of nature.

Meanwhile, documents such as the European Green Deal or the new German Sustainability Strategy indicate an increase in the importance of systemic approaches. Provided that they have a guiding effect, they could mark the beginning of a decade that, as the „green twenties,“ could still meet the transformative demands of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.

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