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Future peace and prosperity will no longer be within our reach, if we in Germany do not commit more resolutely to greater sustainability and channel all our energy into making it happen – be it in politics, business, science or civil society.

Marlehn Thieme, Chairwoman of the Council

Marlehn Thieme

The principle of sustainability is the only option for responsible global action; it protects our eco-systems and thus ensures the survival of generations to come.

Olaf Tschimpke, Deputy Chairman of the Council

Olaf Tschimpke

Measuring sustainability and identifying interrelationships are major success factors for anchoring this topic in companies and on capital markets.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen

Avoiding past mistakes means pointing progress in the right direction: the principle of sustainable development is a good compass for technical and social innovations at local, national and global level.

Ulla Burchardt, Member of the Council

Ulla Burchardt

The global sustainability and climate protection goals are the long-term milestones. Now we have to engage in an honest discussion about what the state, private sector and citizens can and must do to achieve them.

Kathrin Menges, Member of the Council

Kathrin Menges

The energy revolution has greatly reduced the costs of green electricity, so it is competitive at international level and helps to achieve the global sustainability goals without additional CO2 emissions.

Alexander Müller, Member of the Council

Alexander Müller

The idea of sustainability is at the core of a viable, innovative economy and is vital for a society that aims to safeguard quality of life in the long term. That is why the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – must be considered together.

Katherina Reiche, Member of the Council

Katherina Reiche

Make the sustainable choice the easy choice.

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch

Sustainable development requires to find as much common ground as possible but also to accept differences.

Dr. Werner Schnappauf, Member of the Council

Dr. Werner Schnappauf

Today, sustainable development requires an agenda which explicitly links global and national goals and policies and thus gives global cooperation a strong push forward.

Dr. Imme Scholz, Member of the Council

Dr. Imme Scholz

In forest science, we learned how important the sustainable management of natural resources is centuries ago. Empirical knowledge, openness to new things and humility in the face of nature can help other sectors, too.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml

Cities, even more so than today, will become hubs of technological and social development in the future. All the more important are efforts to encourage the sustainable development of our cities.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster

We need to make bold political decisions that reward growth less and sustainability more and that encourage the common good instead of profit-seeking.

Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger

The UN Sustainable Development Goals present the vision of a fundamental socio-ecological transformation. They are not a specialist task for development or environmental policy, but are binding for all cabinet members.

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Member of the Council

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul


2010 Indicator Report of the Federal Statistical Office

Progress made in education, resources at standstill

12.08.2010 - The Federal Statistical Office submitted the 2010 Indicator Report on Sustainable Development in Germany (PDF, 3.6 MB, at the end of July. The status report shows to what extent the latest ecological, economic and social developments in the Federal Republic of Germany correspond to the goals set by the Federal Government in its national sustainability strategy. Compared with the preceding report of 2008, the new analysis chronicles that some progress has been made in German sustainability policy: accordingly, 19 of the 35 sustainability indicators examined are moving in the right direction. In only one instance – national debt – have there been significant setbacks compared to 2008 as a consequence of the economic and financial crisis.

According to the report, the Federal Government has especially moved closer to realising its sustainability goals in the area of education. In this field, four indicators show improvements compared with the preceding report of 2008. Thus, the proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds without a school leaving certificate or training qualification fell, and more non-German pupils successfully graduated from school. At the same time, there was a rise in the number of 25-year-olds graduating from university or college and in first-year students: at 39.8 percent in 2009, the figure fell just short of the envisaged goal of 40 percent for 2010. Federal minister Ronald Pofalla noted that this was an “especially” positive development as statisticians had recorded a downward trend in 2008. As Head of the Federal Chancellery and Chair of the Secretaries’ Committee for Sustainable Development, Mr Pofalla took receipt of the Indicator Report on behalf of the Federal Government.

The report attests that, based on its targets, the Federal Government has made good progress in terms of its further expansion of renewable energy sources. The targets set for 2010 have already been “clearly surpassed” in the estimation of the analysis, which also states that the revised, elevated goals for 2020 could also be met if the rate of development continued at the same pace. The Wiesbaden-based Federal Statistical Office also registered a further reduction in CO2 emissions, reporting that the Federal Government has met its reduction target for 2010 two years earlier than planned. The Federal Minister for the Environment, Norbert Röttgen, explained that renewable energy sources had been a “driving force” behind this achievement.

The latest analysis has revealed less positive trends in a number of other ecological indicators of relevance to the economy. The report states, for example, that it will not be possible to stop the depletion of domestic species by 2015 “without significant additional effort”. The statisticians’ assessment of the accomplishments made in expanding organic farming is similarly pessimistic. The share of organic farmland in farmland as a whole rose by a mere 1.6 per cent to 5.4 per cent in the period from 1994 and 2008, although the Federal Government is striving to reach a 20-percent share. The Federal Government has not specified a deadline by which this goal is to be reached. The report concludes, however, that if things continue to develop at the current rate, it will “take many more years to reach the target value”. Until now, the rate of conversion has been nothing but “moderate”.

By the same token, the use of raw materials by the industry has not fallen as significantly as the goal prescribed in the sustainability strategy. In contrast to the Federal Government’s envisaged doubling of raw material productivity between 1994 and 2020, only a 39.6 per cent rise had been recorded by 2008. The land use indicator also reveals a deep divide between the target and actual values: although land depletion has recently fallen from an average 120 hectares per day to 104 hectares, it remains well above the target of 30 hectares by 2020 set out in the national sustainability strategy. In the estimation of the Wiesbaden-based statisticians, the trends for raw material productivity and land consumption are both moving in the right direction, though their present rates suggest that the Federal Government will not reach the established sustainability goals by the specified deadline.

The Indicator Reports of the Federal Statistical Office

Since 2006, the Federal Statistical Office has been analysing trends in the 35 sustainable development indicators stipulated in the national sustainability strategy. It reports on these trends and indicators every two years. To enable readers to follow the status of the sustainable development indicators more readily, each indicator is assigned one of four “weather symbols” (“sunny” to “thundery”). The symbols show where the indicators stand in terms of their progress to date and an ongoing calculation of how they are expected to develop by their respective target year. In addition to this, the Federal Statistical Office simultaneously publishes data on the 2010 Indicator Report. The data contains full and complete time series for the indicator values as well as background data. In the years between the reports, the Federal Statistical Office updates select eco-economic indicators in its environmental and economic indicator series.

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