Ways out of the current crises

Initial recommendations of the German Council for Sustainable Development for updating the country’s sustainable development strategy and advancing sustainability governance

Berlin, 15.11.2023 – In light of the changed geopolitical and geoeconomic situation, the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) believes the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are more important than ever. RNE Chair Reiner Hoffmann: “The world is coming apart at the seams. The Russian attack on Ukraine and the war in the Middle East have sent shockwaves also through Germany and Europe. The geopolitical crises must spur us on to double down on our ambitious sustainability policy and amplify its impact, in order to protect our natural resources, enable economic development and strengthen social cohesion.”

German sustainability policy is based on the German Sustainable Development Strategy (DNS), which in turn provides the framework for delivery of the UN SDGs in Germany. The DNS is updated every four years, with the new version due for completion by the end of 2024. With this in mind, the federal government launched a dialogue process in October 2023.

To strengthen the political relevance and binding nature of the sustainable development policy, the RNE recommends developing a new basic resolution on the implementation of the SDGs at the start of the legislative period moving forward – one that corresponds in time and content with the upcoming Coalition Agreement. As a key instrument – which will also improve coherence – the Council advises preceding the DNS with a political approach that takes up the concept of planetary boundaries.

The RNE further proposes closer involvement of the Bundestag in the German Sustainable Development Strategy, perhaps by discussing and possibly even voting on the strategy in the Bundestag, as well as holding an annual debate on the progress of its delivery, similarly to the annual budget debate. Another of the Council’s recommendations is to upgrade the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development (PBnE) to a Permanent Advisory Council.

The RNE is also pushing for a more sustainable federal budget. Examples include measuring the budget’s climate impacts and subsequently establishing a climate quota for climate-friendly projects and programmes such as in the EU budget. The RNE also supports greater interlinking of German sustainability policy with the updating of the European Green Deal proposed by the RNE (Green Deal 2.0).

See the full recommendations here (DNS update):

Recommendations & statements

Updating the German Sustainable Development Strategy and Advancing Sustainability Governance

Initial recommendations of the German Council for Sustainable Development; Berlin, 13.11.23


Media Relations:

German Council for Sustainable Development
T + 49 30 338424-721