The German national report to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2016

Speech by Thomas Silberhorn, Member of the German Parliament and Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development at the UN Forum on Sustainable Development in New York, 19 July 2016

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Ladies and gentlemen,

"There is nothing else to do but to get up and do what is our responsibility.”

That is what we just heard in the trailer from Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany remains determined to follow this path of the Agenda 2030 and to leave no one behind as we move forward!

We have had a national strategy for sustainable development ever since 2002 already. Every four years the German government issues a report on the implementation of this strategy. In this way progress and any undesirable developments are measurable and visible.

This sustainability strategy is the foundation on which we are now building. We are currently in the process of developing the strategy further to meet the requirements of the 2030 Agenda. The universal character of the agenda means that we contribute to all the goals.

There are two considerations that are of key importance for Germany:

First of all: that we give thought to the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability.

Secondly: that we take the impacts of our actions going beyond national borders into even greater account than hitherto.

The German government has three questions that it seeks to answer for each SDG:

  1. What are the national challenges?
  2. How can we make a contribution to global wellbeing?
  3. How can we support the implementation efforts of our partner countries?

Let me give you three examples:

First example: Food security and agriculture – a world without hunger – SDG 2

  1. ​For the implementation of this goal in Germany we are focusing on better and more balanced nutrition. We are currently drawing up a strategy for environmentally sound farming practices. And we are also engaged in efforts to foster sustainable consumption in Germany, for example, through our involvement, together with businesses and traders, and civil society, in the Sustainable Cocoa Forum, whose aim is to promote the sustainable cultivation of cocoa.
  2. ​At the global level the German government is championing and supporting efforts to limit speculation with food crops. At the end of the day, it is mainly producers and consumers in developing countries who must pay the price for such gambling.
  3. ​In cooperation with our partner countries, the German government is spending about 1.5 billion euros a year on activities to support food security, sustainable farming and rural development.

Second example: Promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns – SDG 12

  1. What and how we consume and the way products are manufactured has an impact on social and environmental conditions in many of our partner countries.
  2. By creating and promoting multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles the German government is doing its part in ensuring that the production processes in global supply chains become better aligned with social and environmental standards. The aim is to significantly improve the conditions in our partner countries.
  3. At national Level, we promote sustainable consumption patterns by ensuring transparency and making information available.
  4. Public administration, too, is a major consumer and should lead by example. That is why we have decided that by 2020 half of all textiles purchased by German authorities will be purchased based on social and environmental criteria.

Another example is: Climate action – SDG 13

  1. In order to achieve the German climate action goal for 2020 at the national level, Germany has adopted a "weighty” package of about 100 measures covering areas that are relevant for reducing emissions of greenhouse gas.
  2. The German government is pushing hard to speed up decarbonising the global economy. This includes seeking to double our contributions to international climate finance, from two billion euros to four billion by 2020.
  3. Germany is one of the biggest donors in the context of international climate protection. Together with the G7 we are also striving to protect those who are least able to withstand the impacts of climate change. We are developing climate risk insurance to help 400 million people safeguard their livelihoods against climate risks.

Further examples of what we are doing can be found in our report.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development serves as a compass for us – in the national and in the international context.

After all, we will need joint efforts if we want to bring about a global turnaround in the direction of sustainability.

Speaking of joint efforts, I would now like to hand over to my esteemed Colleague Ms Schwarzelühr-Sutter (Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Environment Minister).

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