Article Index

2.2.5 Priority areas for action

Sustainable development can not be imposed from above. But probably the state can support the reversal. For this, the Federal Government set in 2002 fields of action. These were reviewed with each progress report and supplemented. Last in the progress report from 2012.

2012 Progress Report

The 2012 Progress Report gave in the year of the sustainability conference of the United Nations in Rio its topics with a global reference: sustainable business practices, climate and energy, water policy.

• Climate and energy are key issues for sustainable development. Climate protection and adaptation to climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. A warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times would have serious consequences in its effects on human health and the environment. Therefore, the global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to 2050 from 1990 by at least 50 percent.

• In the context of decisions on energy policy of the future, the German Federal Government has reiterated its goal, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Germany in 2020 to 40 percent compared to 1990. By 2050, the energy concept aims to decrease it by 80 to 95 percent.

• Internationally, the federal government continues to argue for a worldwide applicable, binding climate agreement. This provides, based on a fair burden-sharing, verifiable commitments for all major emitters. In addition, this agreement shall prevent the relocation of production to countries without climate change. The Federal Government has thereby also the economic, security and development implications of climate change in mind.

• Sustainable water policy is of particular importance for clean water as an essential basis of life and one of our most important resources. In Germany the water has reached a high to very high standard. The high investments including in the waste water infrastructure and water restoration projects have brought significant improvements in water quality in Germany. However, the water pollution control remains an ongoing task.

• An aligned use at the idea of sustainability management of water shall secure water resources for future generations and preserve the ecological balance of the waters or restore it. Sustainable water policy is a cross-cutting issue; water political aspects must therefore be strengthened thought along in other policy areas.