German Conference on Sustainability in the Context of BRICS+G
The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), together with GTZ, convened a German National Conference on Sustainability in the Context of BRICS+G. R. Andreas Kraemer moderated the event on 9 June 2005. The national conference was held in preparation of an international conference including Brazil, Russia, India, and China in Berlin on 4 and 5 September 2005.
With its 2002 National Sustainability Strategy, Germany has opened up new perspectives on cross-generational fairness, the quality of life, social cohesion and global responsibility which led to the definition of objectives and measures for political areas of ecological, economic and social relevance. In addition, the National Sustainability Strategy serves as a point of contact for players from industry and civil society alike.
In many respects, however, Germany still has a long way to go towards achieving sustainable development. She is particularly lacking sustainable economic growth, which is a major prerequisite for creating sufficient employment - employment which is decoupled from resource consumption and which lives up to global responsibility and does not divide society but provides equal opportunities for everybody. The aim must be to attain sustainable growth which does not jeopardize but, instead, enhances the chances of generations to come.
The conference is part of the dialogue project entitled BRICS+G: Sustainability and Growth in Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and Germany. In June / July 2005, national conferences will be held in all these countries as preparation for the exchange of opinions at the International Dialogue Conference BRICS+G in Berlin on September 4 and 5, 2005.
"BRICS" stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a group of countries that will presumably have stronger economies than Europe, the U.S. and Japan in the foreseeable future. Due to environmental problems and social tensions, their economic growth is also in need of facing the challenge of shifting towards sustainability. In comparison to Germany, the BRICS countries have a much stronger relative economic growth. What does their sustainability policy with regard to resource consumption and social standards look like? What does global economic growth mean for the environment? What can Germany learn from the BRICS countries and vice versa? Will they help integrate the countries of the ”South” more into the global markets and global policy? The dialogue helps to question innate positions and serves as a basis for a better intertwinement of economic development and sustainable policy in the future. In addition, the broad dialogue on sustainability strategies is an important contribution to achieving the UN Millennium Goals.
In order to take stock of and monitor the successes of its sustainability policy on a regular and transparent basis, the German Council for Sustainable Development is interested in "views from outside” and a dialogue beyond Germany’s borders. In cooperation with the GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit), the German Council for Sustainable Development has initiated the dialogue project BRICS+G and invites experts from these countries to participate in a dialogue on sustainability and growth and the significance of sustainability strategies.