15. Juli 2022  High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development July 2022

Statement by

Dr. Bettina Hoffmann,
Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, Germany,

and

Dr. Bärbel Kofler,
Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

With only eight years until 2030 we need to make rapid progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the Decade of Action and Delivery. The 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals remain our universal, indivisible and integrated roadmap and provide us with a clear perspective for the coming years: We all need to scale up our efforts in times that present us with major challenges.

Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine as well as the Covid-19-pandemic, remind us that our economies and societies, as well as agri-food systems must become more resilient. We condemn Russia's unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine, a grave violation of the UN Charter and other fundamental principles of international law. Russia’s war against Ukraine puts global peace, stability and security in jeopardy, affects people in all parts of the world and imperils the very fulfilment of the SDGs in all their dimensions. We support the United Nations General Assembly’s call on Russia to stop the war.

The political and economic disruptions brought about by the war in Ukraine threaten global recovery. Soaring food and energy prices, alongside other multiple impacts of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine put SDG implementation at global level at risk, particularly SDGs 1, 2, 7, 10 and 16, exacerbated existing challenges, and thereby potentially creating new clusters of instability. Especially SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) is affected by the war as well other factors- such as the effects of climate change and continued environmental degradation. In the run-up to G7 Summit, stakeholders came together in Berlin to unite for global food security. They took stock of progress made in joint efforts to overcome the global food security crisis, and to join forces in moving ahead in this common endeavour. The G7 have committed an additional 4.5 billion USD of funding for global food security during the G7 Summit in Elmau.

Further, the forced displacement of Ukrainian people has direct and concerning consequences on SDG 3, 4, and 5. Overall, we are faced with highest number of forcibly displaced persons since recording began, making the achievement of the SDGs all the more challenging.

Peace and security are a prerequisite for sustainable development, in line with the integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda. There can be no sustainable development without peace.

National and multilateral sustainability policy needs to develop strong and swift answers to contribute to global peace, the preservation of the planet and prosperity.

Women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic which have further exacerbated existing inequalities and widened gender gaps across various areas. Gender equality is therefore more than a stand-alone goal. It is a catalyst towards the establishment of peaceful, more equitable, productive, inclusive and resilient societies. This is why Germany has decided to adopt a feminist approach to both foreign and development policy.

Not only women lack sufficient access to justice. An estimated 1.5 billion people around the globe have unresolved justice problems. For Germany, access to justice for all (SDG 16) is a crucial element in promoting good governance and sustainable development. We therefore support the work of the Justice Action Coalition established in 2021.

Not only women lack sufficient access to justice. An estimated 1.5 billion people around the globe have unresolved justice problems. For Germany, access to justice for all (SDG 16) is a crucial element in promoting good governance and sustainable development. We therefore support the work of the Justice Action Coalition established in 2021.

Furthermore, policies need to address the serious challenges which have been posed to the attainment of SDGs Goal 4 (Quality Education) by the pandemic. Education is a human right and a key enabler for the achievement of all other SDGs. There is an urgent need to address educational inequalities for girls and women as well as those in the most vulnerable and marginalized positions such as persons living in remote and rural areas, persons with disabilities, refugees, and displaced persons. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) offers a solution-focused education model for the creation of a resilient, participative and inclusive education system. It enables people to shape their lives in a sustainable way. In line with SDG Target 4.7 Germany is committed to scale up ESD from successful project based implementation into all aspects of education.

At the same time, we face the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution impacting life on land and below water (SDG 14 and 15). Global deforestation continues at an alarming rate. Thus, halting this and transforming agri-food systems to deforestation-free production is key. The multiple crises demonstrate the need for solutions that tackle several problems at once, instead of pitting one crisis against another. It became clear that individual countries cannot act alone but need to work in international solidarity to ensure no-one is left behind. Together with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda constitutes a coherent and mutually reinforcing framework and serves as a tool to tackle multiple global crises at once and provides us with a strong shared vision for a just and sustainable world.

The German Government aims to pick up the pace on the transition towards sustainability, both at home and in international cooperation.

Germany is working with its partners for a success of the UN Biodiversity Conference COP 15 in December 2022. We aim for the creation of an ambitious global biodiversity framework with clear goals and targets, and a strong implementation regime. At the national level, the German government works on the development of an Action Plan on Nature-based Solutions for Climate and Biodiversity.

Further, if current rates of resource exploitation and unsustainable use continue, all of our ecological goals will be out of reach. In order to make SDG 12 and in particular SDGs 12.2 and 12.3 (Halving global food waste and reducing food losses) a reality, we have to strengthen our efforts to keep more resources in the circular economy and encourage also the private sector to make production sustainable while at the same time changing our consumption patterns.

In line with this year focus SDG 14, oceans have become central to German national and international environmental commitment. Germany included a marine campaign in its coalition agreement which will consist of a marine strategy and the coordination of marine policy under the leadership of a marine commissioner. Under the German G7 presidency, climate, energy and environment ministers sent a strong message for ambitious marine protection and conservation with the Ocean Deal. It inter alia focusses on protection of oceans and seas, marine pollution, trying to tackle the triple plantetary crisis – climate change, loss of biodiversity and environmental pollution, where plastics and the intended new agreement is one prominent example. For Germany, this means also continuing to build up research capacity and ensuring the transfer of marine technology.

Germany is committed to ambitious climate action at national, European and international level. The latest IPCC reports were clear: climate change is advancing, its impacts are already being felt and some are irreversible, and they will be devastating if we do not turn things around quickly. For a successful COP27, we need progress in three areas: We need to scale up ambition and implementation in this critical decade to reduce emissions by half by 2030 and in particular advance the global energy transition in a socially balanced way. This is, what we call a “Just Transition”. We need to strengthen solidarity with vulnerable countries in all areas, and we need to make tangible progress in aligning global financial flows with the objective to limit global warming at 1.5°C. The SDGs provide the overall guidance to address both the global and national challenges of adaptation to climate change. We have to strengthen our joint efforts to adverse, minimize and address loss and damage associated to climate change. We need to globally mobilise more financial support to reach our collective goal of USD 100 billion per year as soon as possible, and the collective commitment of doubling finance for adaptation to developing countries from 2019 levels until 2025. In the G7, we have laid the foundation for this - especially by aiming at further just energy transition partnerships with developing countries.

Finally, it is the very spirit of the 2030 Agenda to be implemented for and by the whole of society. In order for that to happen, we need to ensure meaningful stakeholder engagement in the HLPF deliberations, and listen to the voices of women and the youth. It is equally important to learn from the experiences of older persons as well as those in the most vulnerable and marginalized situations, such as migrants, people with disabilities, and persons living in remote and rural areas. We value the participation of civil society and other stakeholders in all aspects of the HLPF and encourage all parts of society to actively engage. At the SDG Summit in 2023 at the latest, the world must show progress towards the SDGs and we are resolved to work with our partners towards this end. We must set the right course now to achieve the profound change that is so needed. Achieving the SDGs is not an option - it is the key to a future worth living!