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17 goals for a better world

The name is misleading: Germany’s National Sustainable Development Strategy is aimed at people all over the globe. These are the goals and some of the successes.

Tanja Zech, 05.07.2019
Clean water for all is a goal of the 2030 Agenda
Clean water for all is a goal of the 2030 Agenda © Getty Images/iStockphoto

When the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, Germany had already had a National Sustainable Development Strategy for 13 years. One thing is clear: this strategy can only be effective if it does not end at national frontiers. That is why Germany works multilaterally to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda – not only within the European Union, but also in the UN Security Council.

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How does Germany support Sustainable Development Goals worldwide?

Updated in 2018, the German Sustainable Development Strategy now covers even more goals for global development cooperation. Thus, for example, Germany supports crisis prevention and peacebuilding; respect for human rights; the reduction of hunger, poverty and causes of migration; climate protection; and gender equality.

How does the Federal Government promote this engagement in society?

The German Council for Sustainable Development organises annual days of action and ideas competitions. Interest in a sustainable lifestyle is generally growing in Germany. Above all, the younger generation is strongly involved here, as is shown by innovative projects, business startups and the Fridays for Future demonstrations.

Die glorreichen 17 (The Magnificent 17) is a Federal Government website that provides information about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the German contributions in an entertaining way.

How does Germany assess the success of the Sustainable Development Strategy?

The Federal Statistical Office evaluates the progress of national and international measures on the basis of 65 indicators – transparently and accessible online. Every two years the agency publishes a status report. In 2018 it said that over one third of the performance indicators had already met the targets of the German Sustainable Development Strategy or would meet them if development continued unchanged. However, the targets for 28 indicators, including greenhouse gas emissions and equal pay for men and women, had not been met as things stood.

Germany has its sustainable development policy regularly monitored by an international group of experts. The 2018 Peer Review included praise, but also an admonishing raised forefinger. It said Germany was internationally well placed as a sustainability pioneer, but must pursue its goals with even greater determination.


Germany’s 2018 National Sustainable Development Strategy


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