published on Global Summitry 10 February 2018
One major objective of the German G20 presidency in 2016/17 was to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are essential to addressing the collective challenges faced by the world. Without G20 countries, these challenges cannot be tackled effectively. Putting the spotlight on the 2030 Agenda in the G20 can generate peer pressure among the world’s major economies, initiate fruitful learning processes and contribute to keeping the momentum for transformative change, and achieving the SDGs as well as promoting policy coherence for sustainable development. It is, therefore, commendable that the G20 members, with the adoption of their Action Plan during the Chinese G20 Presidency, are committed to the 2030 Agenda. In this article, we analyse to what extent the German G20 Presidency, building on the achievements of the 2016 Hangzhou Summit, has been successful in leveraging the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and in which ways the G20 was able to make a difference for enhanced global cooperation. The assessment of the German G20 presidency shows that the outcome of the 2017 Hamburg Summit can hardly be considered as a great breakthrough for sustainable development. Yet the Summit does offer opportunities for real progress to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda if further action is taken by Member States and the follow-up G20 presidencies on the Hamburg commitments.