Article Index

 2.2.2 Principles of sustainable development strategy

 The guidelines direct the way, the direction in which Germany must move in order to become more sustainable. They cover the spectrum of "intergenerational justice - Quality of life - social cohesion and international responsibility".

1. Generation Justice

According to the guidelines a new generation contract will be required, which focuses on the balance of interests between the generations. This involves the reduction of public debt, the reform of social security systems, health care costs as well as the preservation of the natural foundations of life.

The ethical principle of sustainability is: Every generation must solve its own problems and should not burden the next generations. Contravenes who makes an economic and social policy on credit and leaves future generations rising government debts. The same applies if investment for the economic future are neglected and instead quicker and easier consumption moves in the foreground.

2. Quality of life

The concept of sustainability has a vital and simple core: Good quality of life for everyone, now and in the future. All are to take their lives into their own hands, learn, work, take responsibility for oneself and others. And this is embedded in a network of social relations in a healthy and safe environment.

For the quality of life a healthy environment is essential. But quality of life comprises more. It includes health, personal development opportunities, satisfying work, decent housing, adequate income, social recognition. It also includes good schools, a livable and safe city with many cultural offers.

3.  Social Cohesion

The following elements characterize the social dimension of sustainable development:

• prevention of poverty and social exclusion,

• the division of society into winners and losers prevent,

• involve all sections of the population in the economic and social development.

The challenge for the government is to provide sufficient training opportunities for new or modified activities. It must also provide efficient social security systems.

4.  International Responsibility

Combining environment and development, was the promise of the 1992 Rio Conference on the developing countries. The combination of the two targets is internationally used as the basis for a worldwide strategy for sustainable development. For example, clean water and fertile soil are the base for many developing countries for their economic development. On the other hand, result in these countries is that poverty and lack of economic alternatives lead to overexploitation of soil.

Principle: Each generation must solve its own problems and should not burden the next generations. You must also make provision for foreseeable future problems. This applies to the conservation of natural resources, economic development, social cohesion and demographic change.

Sustainability management means better use of the institutions for control within the meaning of sustainable development. To have goals, is not enough. Sustainability must primarily be anchored organizationally so that it will prevail in politics and society.

Central resource for the path from theory to practice are the management rules of sustainability. In addition to the above principle, there are rules for individual areas of action. For the environment, the rule is that their resources may be used only to the extent as they grow or regenerate itself. Public budgets are committed to intergenerational justice. Poverty and social exclusion is to prevent.