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SDGs: Human Progress within Planetary Guard Rails

wbgu-logoThe German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) published a policy paper that deals with the correlation between human development and environmental change within Earth system boundaries. It indicates that the post-2015 process offers an opportunity to incorporate both dimensions in an integrative strategy for sustainable development.  In doing so, WBGU refers to the so-called planetary guard rails, which have to be taken into account in the SDGs, to limit global environmental change and at the same time find a way to achieve human development.

June 6, 2014 ǀ WBGU

Human Progress within Planetary Guardrails: a Contribution to the SDG Debate

The year 2015 has special importance for the transformation towards sustainable development. New Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are then supposed to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The aim is to offer a new orientation for political action in the coming decades. The WBGU recommends orienting the new list of goals towards the key message of the 1992 Earth Summit: that development and environmental protection must be considered together and are not contradicting one another. The SDGs should not be reduced to poverty reduction, but must address all dimensions of sustainable development. In particular, the global environmental changes must be incorporated, otherwise even poverty reduction will become impossible. Up to now, too little attention has been paid to this correlation in the ongoing discourse on SDGs. Although many reports mention the concept of planetary guard rails or planetary boundaries, they do not back this up with specific targets. The WBGU presents recommendations on how guard rails for global environmental changes should be incorporated in the SDG catalogue and operationalized by means of corresponding targets.

The policy paper is available here.

Source: WBGU


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