Integrated Assessment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Transformation Pathways towards a Resource-Efficient and Greenhouse-Gas-Neutral Germany (FKZ 3721 31 101 0, ReFoPlan)

The “SDG pathways” project develops and applies a modeling approach for integrated sustainability assessments of ambitious resource- and climate policy transformation pathways for Germany. Applied evaluation criteria are given by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide an ambitious set of goals and targets for the environmental, social, and economic transformation until 2030.

Project Background

Ambitious and rapid changes in our production and consumption patterns are necessary to achieve the Paris climate targets and to preserve natural resources as our life foundation. In existing research projects, the German Environment Agency (UBA) is investigating possible pathways towards integrated resource and climate protection (e.g. RESCUE-project "Resource-Efficient Pathways to Greenhouse-Gas-Neutrality").

The necessary actions aimed at integrated climate and resource protection can result in both negative and positive impacts on other sustainability goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, these interactions are often not sufficiently investigated due to their complexity.

Methodological Approach

Based on existing resource and climate protection pathways, this research project aims to

  1. investigate synergies or trade-offs between the SDGs and targeted transitions towards greenhouse-gas neutrality and more sustainable resource use;
  2. illustrate which transformation pathways may enable both, the achievement of ambitious climate and resource policy goals as well as the achievement of ambitious SDG targets

For this, the iSDG system dynamics model will be adapted by the project team to cover key interdependencies of the analyzed German sustainability nexus. Quantitative simulation studies with the adapted model will then serve as a means for answering these central research questions. In doing so, the project team also connects with internationally relevant comparable research activities and projects.