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Sustainability Monitor


Adobe Stock / Sven Bachstroem

Deep-Sea Mining

Balancing resource opportunities with the ecological risks

Rising demand for critical raw materials is increasingly moving the focus to the deep sea realm with its vast mineral wealth. Mining is controversial, however, as there are fears of severe environmental damage. The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is currently developing rules to regulate mineral extraction. Germany advocates avoiding deep-sea mining until risks have been sufficiently researched and appropriate mining rules elaborated.

Reuters / Eric Gaillard

Ready for the „water turnaround“?

The German Government’s National Water Strategy

This year's United Nations World Water Day on March 22nd took place under the slogan "Accelerating Change" and called for an acceleration and intensification of efforts towards sustainable water use at all levels - nationally and internationally. On 15 March 2023, the Federal Cabinet adopted the Federal Government's National Water Strategy: In view of the consequences of climate change, the Federal Government intends to initiate a "water turnaround" by focusing on ten strategic themes to accelerate the transformation in the water sector.

Flickr / Luciano Emanuel Silva

Path to COP28

Lessons for International Climate Policy

No significant progress was made at COP27, with the exception of the planned fund to compensate damage and loss. Therefore, the question increasingly arises whether the UNFCCC process should be flanked more strongly in future by multilateral initiatives, for example within the framework of the G7 and G20, in order to develop more momentum.

Pixabay / alejobaron

Decarbonising the transport sector in the Global South

Possibilities, challenges, and reciprocities on the road to climate-neutral mobility

In Germany, the shift towards electromobility is underway, the advantages, but also the shortcomings of public transportation have become part of the public debate ever since the nine-euro ticket emerged, and mobility apps are gaining increasing popularity in cities. All this is supposed to contribute to the decarbonisation of transport. But what is the situation in the countries that are expected to experience the greatest population growth in the coming decades and thus have a steadily increasing need for mobility?

How can innovation be made sustainable?

In order to achieve sustainability, we need more, quicker and better innovations.

One of the key concerns of any society is to be future-proof. At the various levels of politics, there is a debate over which decisions need to be made today in order to maintain what has been achieved and how to initiate the required developments. The central question here is what preconditions does sustainable innovation need?

pixabay/ geralt

Planetary Health

Interface Between Climate and Health

This edition of “Monitor Sustainability” is dedicated to the 2022 Geneva Health Forum. Experts were searching for appropriate strategies to counter the negative effects of climate change on human health. The main theme of the conference was “Covid-19 Pandemic and Environmental Emergency: Reinventing Global Health in Times of Global Changes".

Pixabay / dandelion_tea

A turning point for sustainability?

Impact of the war in Ukraine

Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine is triggering a recalibration of security and foreign policy in Germany and the EU. There is also a shift in areas of sustainable development, such as climate protection, the supply of energy, the environment, agriculture, food, global health, and development cooperation. Our Monitor outlines the impact that this war of aggression is having on these issues and offers a preliminary conclusion.

World Meteorological Organization / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 /

COP26: A Small Step Forward on Climate Protection

The outcomes of COP26: a spirit of optimism on the global carbon markets and unresolved questions around climate finance. 

COP26 took place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Expectations were high, because in the run-up to the conference there were signs of a growing social awareness of climate change. The background for this is formed by visible climate catastrophes and the constantly improving findings of climate science. Our Sustainability Monitor analyses the results of COP26.

Oliver Henze / flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0 /

Sustainable forest management

Sustainable forest management protects the most important ecosystem services in the forest and enables adaptation to climate change.

Forests are recreational areas, provide diverse ecosystem services and are considered to be an important economic factor with diverse income opportunities. The condition of our forests is worrying: storms, forest fires, bark beetle infestations and the droughts of recent years have affected them. What can sustainable forest management look like against the background of increased expectations of environmental and climate protection?

Olearys / flickr / CC BY 2.0 /

Climate Protection made in Karlsruhe

The Federal Constitutional Court as an International Trendsetter?

The Climate Decision has attracted widespread international attention. To secure future freedom, the German state needs to pursue an internationally oriented climate protection policy with the goal of climate neutrality. International obligations from the Paris Climate Agreement and scientific findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) play a central role in the climate protection obligations that the Federal Constitutional Court has been drawn from the Basic Law.

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About this series

The publications of the Sustainability Monitor are part of our Monitor publication series. The Monitor series deals with one main topic at a time from the perspective of KAS experts and places it in the political and social context on the basis of a few key points.