Assessment Report: Latest Initiatives by Science and Policy to Promote Key Areas of Sustainable Consumption & Recommendations to Enhance the German Sustainability Strategy in, with and by Germany

  • Project no.451860
  • Duration 04/2019 - 08/2019

Achieving global sustainable development requires fundamental changes in current patterns of consumption and production, as confirmed inter alia in Agenda 2030. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 explicitly supports the implementation of programmes to achieve sustainable consumption and production patterns. In Germany, the Agenda 2030 was translated into the German Sustainability Strategy (DNS) 2016 and concretised by the National Programme for Sustainable Consumption (NPNC). With the adoption of the above-mentioned political strategies or programmes and the establishment of the Competence Centre for Sustainable Consumption (KNK) and the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 (WPN2030), which provides scientific support for developing the DNS further, important steps have been taken to set the course for the sustainability strategy adopted by the German Federal Government. In this context, WPN2030 is also active for the update of the DNS, which is planned for 2020.

Within the framework of the study for WPN2030, recommendations for the updating of the DNS and the NPNK will be derived to strengthen the stimulus effect for sustainable consumption in Germany. The recommendations focus on strategic national actions and policy-making, the use of indicators and the creation of a basis for decision-making, and support for the operational level. Thereby, the project contributes to a better understanding of the structures, initiatives, needs and potentials in the complex field of "sustainable consumption". In concrete terms, this means, among other things, analysing and linking the discourses in science and practice that are still separate today. The thematic fields or discourses analysed include (i) transformation design, (ii) real laboratory research, (iii) research on rebounds, (iv) policies for sustainability, (v) climate and environmental research, (vi) green economy/industry 4.0, (vii) consumer and consumption research, and (viii) social, environmental, economic, consumer and consumer policies.

This overview leads to a progress report for the years 2016 up to 2018 with a focus on politics and science as well as recommendations for the further development of the DNS. In order to be able to collect and analyse this extensive amount of data (publications e.g. by federal ministries, scientific advisory boards, journals), qualitative content and actor analyses are supported by computer-aided methods of text analysis ("text mining"). The managing project partner adelphi focuses on the political discourse, the Wuppertal Institute on the scientific one. The analyses of both discourses are interwoven into an integrated status report.

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