The Great Transformation towards sustainability

Human interference in the natural environment has reached global proportions. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and the excessive exploitation of oceans are among the most critical environmental changes worldwide. One consequence of these changes is the mounting vulnerability, especially of developing countries, to natural disasters, food crises and disease. Environmental degradation has thus also become a security and a global justice issue. The new quality of these global human interventions in the Earth System is presenting scientists and politicians with new challenges. These challenges can only be managed through a radical transformation towards sustainability.

Cities and urbanization are at the centre of current work. In the course of rapid global urbanization, both the potentials and the challenges of the transformation towards sustainability are increasingly concentrated in cities. Cities will decide whether the transformation - and therefore the preservation of humanity’s natural livelihood - will succeed.

On this website, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) provides information about its activities and publications concerning the topic of sustainability in the context of its work in the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU).

Research Staff

Publications

Projects

In the Media

Logo: Deutsche Welle

In den Städten entscheidet sich die Zukunft
With Comments by Eva Dick
Deutsche Welle, 17 October 2016

In the Media

Unsere Zukunft entscheidet sich in der Stadt
Messner, Dirk / Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
Zeit online, 17  October 2016

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WBGU Co-Chair Dirk Messner on the new Sustainable Development Goals

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Paris Climate Change Conference Successfully Concluded
Global climate agreement adopted – now actions must follow
Press release from the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)
Berlin, 12 December 2015

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A social contract for sustainability
Flagship Report (2011)
German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), Berlin

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Comic „The Great Transformation: Climate – Can we beat the Heat?“ (2013)
German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), Berlin 

WBGU - World in Transition - Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner