Strategic Environmental Dialogues
Title: Strategic Environmental Dialogues
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Overall term: 2014 to 2023
The international community has set out an ambitious vision in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. Its objective is to transform our societies, our way of life and our economic activities in accordance with the limitations imposed by the planet. Together with the climate agreement concluded in Paris at the UN Conference on Climate Change, they provide a guideline for international cooperation. All countries – whether developing, emerging or industrialised – are called upon in equal measure to find alternative development pathways that are significantly more climate-friendly, resource-efficient and socially inclusive compared with current economic activities, thus helping to build an inclusive green economy.
Environmental and climate dialogues with decision-makers from politics, academia and business in selected emerging economies contribute to a common understanding and strengthened international cooperation for developing inclusive green economies.
Through high-level political dialogue forums, bilateral expert groups, think-tank workshops, international and regional conferences and studies, the project promotes exchange on the conditions and prospects for low-carbon economic development that is both environmentally and socially sustainable.
The project works with its partner countries to further develop enabling conditions for sustainable approaches to production, consumption and green growth which protect the environment, take due account of social factors and uncouple resource consumption from economic growth. The partner countries of the project are Brazil, Columbia, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay, and Viet Nam.
In various countries, cooperation on environmental issues has been strengthened and exchanges have been stepped up on environmentally friendly, low-carbon and socially inclusive lifestyle models, taking into consideration the limitations imposed by the planet.
In India, for example, the project has expanded dialogue and cooperation in the energy and environmental sectors, thereby providing fresh impetus for environmental protection and climate change mitigation. Following the second Indo-German Environment Forum in January 2015, bilateral working groups were set up on water management, waste management, urban development and climate. The aim of these is to consolidate and expand the current exchange of knowledge. The groups met again prior to the third Indo-German Environment Forum in February 2019 in New Delhi. Additionally, a working group on the theme of biodiversity was established.
The Indo-German Expert Group on Green and Inclusive Economy, which is made up of high-level representatives of Indian and German think tanks, is a further example of the ongoing dialogue between India and Germany. This regular exchange gives rise to ideas and recommendations on selected issues concerning the green and inclusive economy for political decision-making and cooperation between the two countries.
The regular policy dialogue with China is primarily concerned with steady improvements to the country’s resource and energy efficiency and as a corollary the uncoupling of economic growth and resource and energy consumption. Following an initial joint conference in the year 2000, the dialogue has been continuously intensified by means of regular bilateral environmental forums. Through these, the project makes a sustainable contribution to exchange between the two countries on environmental issues that are key to global structural policy. As part of the project, the high-level environmental forum is accompanied by regular planning and strategy workshops at various hierarchical levels.
A conference on the Green and Low Carbon Economy held in Thailand in September 2013 triggered off closer cooperation on environmental, climate and energy affairs. The high-level dialogue forum, at which over 150 representatives from politics, business, academia and civil society discussed conditions and strategies for a green economy, met with a broad and positive media response and now takes place at regular intervals. This process is monitored by a specially convened steering group, which meets on an annual basis.