“The interlinkages and integrated nature of the SDGs are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realized.”
Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Integrated implementation of the SDGs means reconciling long- and short-term, global and local, environment and development related targets, focusing on critical interlinkages, tradeoffs and synergies (“nexus approach”). Resource efficiency is necessary for achieving more (development and human well-being) with less (environmental pressure and resource use), but not sufficient for complete decoupling, given e.g. rebound effects. Complementary budget approaches, such as Planetary Boundaries must set limits to the total human footprints.
Planetary Boundaries (PBs) operationalization has just begun, not yet taking into account specific contexts, fair shares, development needs, or the externalization of pressures to other countries via trade (external footprints). While PBs can inform nationally determined contributions (NDCs) so that their total sum stays within the safe operating space (as for the global climate target), PBs themselves do not provide guidance on implementation. Resource efficiency improvement is one important measure for staying within the safe planetary operating space, others include: transformative (e.g. agricultural) production systems, sustainable consumption and production, horizontal and vertical policy coherence etc.
Usefully applying the two complementary concepts of resource efficiency and PBs for integrated SDG implementation requires entry points for a science-policy dialogue, such as the Sustainability Strategy and Integrated Environment Programme in Germany, or the EU Circular Economy Plan and the Common Agricultural Policy. This science-policy dialogue aims at the “co-production” of knowledge by policymakers, scientists, and other stakeholders around the main themes of the conference, i.e. land, water and other natural resources and sustainable consumption and production, towards mainstreaming of this knowledge into actual policy processes.
Room: Saphir, translation DE/EN is provided