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The second pillar of the German G20 presidency is improving sustainability. Germany is keen on making the economy more fit for the future. Its goal is to work towards sustainable development that will benefit all. What’s Up, Germany? examines the roadmap Germany has developed for the 2017 G20 to ensure the right balance between growth,  development, human welfare and the environment.


One of Germany’s main priorities is to focus on the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development so that no one is left behind in the effort to wipe out poverty and build an inclusive future. The G20 has the advantage of ensuring  collective action by the major economies, making it the perfect forum for championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out in the 2030 Agenda.


Diseases wreak havoc, causing considerable suffering and costs. That is why better healthcare and management of health crises is such a priority. Under the German residency, the focus will be on strengthening public health systems, combatting the threats posed by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and antimicrobial resistance, and strengthening response to pandemics. The different ways information and communications technology can help in the healthcare sector will also be explored.


Climate change knows no borders and poses one of the most urgent global challenges. We need to take action now and limit global warming to below 2°C! That’s why viable energy and climate strategies will be given prominence at the 2017 G20. Germany wants to link climate and energy policies more closely and ensure a reliable investment climate. The aim is to decrease the use of fossil fuels and promote renewable energy. Investments in renewable energy will also create jobs and improve health in developing nations. By focusing on making infrastructure climate compatible, the G20 can boost economic growth while protecting against climate risks.


Germany is strongly committed to empowering women in the economy. The emphasis at the 2017 G20 will be on incorporating women into the economy and improving the quality of women’s jobs. Work will continue towards the goal of reducing the gap between male and female employment by 25 per cent. Since digitalisation is creating new economic prospects for women, especially in developing countries, Germany considers it crucial to give women easier access to information and communications technology.


The impact of digitalisation on our economies and lives is palpable. Modern technology has huge potential in terms of automation, data processing and creation of new markets and jobs. But it also presents certain risks that can only be dealt with through a common international framework for action. Germany will give special attention to the challenges posed by digital technology, be it privacy and data protection, or free flow of information and IT security. It even hosted the first-ever G20 digital ministers’ meeting in April 2017.



A historic United Nations summit held in New York in 2015 culminated in an ambitious development agenda titled “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which was adopted by 193 countries of the UN General Assembly.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 targets in the 2030 Agenda. Over the next 13 years, countries will mobilise efforts to implement the SDGs, which include eradicating poverty, fighting inequalities, tackling climate  change and improving health and education.

“This is our greatest challenge: learning to live in a crowded and interconnected world that is creating unprecedented pressures on human society and on the physical environment.”
— Jeffrey Sachs, university professor, Columbia University

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