WBGU Presents Social Contract for Sustainability Report

7 April 2011: The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), an independent scientific advisory body, presented a report titled  “World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability,” to Annette Schavan, Federal Minister of Education and Research, and Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen. The report recommends establishing a “UN Council for Sustainable Development,” on par with the UN Security Council, among other measures.

One of the key messages of the report is that the "social contract" is a special agreement between science and society and about a new culture of democratic participation. In addition to the establishment of a “UN Council for Sustainable Development,” the report recommends forming alliances of climate pioneers between states, cities and corporations.

The report also highlights reasons for the urgent need for a “post fossil-nuclear metabolism,” and presents 10 sets of concrete measures to accelerate the transition to sustainability. The measures include: greater stakeholder participation; promotion of partnerships with North Africa; access to sustainable energy to the 2.5-3 billion people in developing countries currently living in energy poverty; climate-friendly land use; and reorganization of development organisations into “transformation agencies for sustainable development.”

The report also says the energy transition towards sustainability can only succeed if, concurrently, the huge potential for efficiency increase is fully tapped. Finally, the report urges that existing nuclear plants be replaced with sustainable energy technologies or, in the case of evident safety deficiencies, be closed down immediately.

The English version of the full report will be available in the fall of 2011. [Publication: World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability - Summary Report for Policy Makers]