It was a great pleasure to moderate the 3rd Sustainability Transformation Conference initiated by the German Environment Agency (UBA) together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).
In four panels the speakers and experts discussed the relevance, interconnectedness and complexity of the mobility, health and food sectors to achieve a just sustainability transformation.
In the panel with Parliamentary State Secretary Bettina Hoffmann (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection) and Virginijus Sinkevičius (Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries at European Commission) the role of strong democracies to achieve transformation became evident and the importance of the European Green Deal especially in times of multiple crises was a key topic.
Throughout the other panels we discussed how to achieve mobility systems that are both more environmentally friendly and socially just, how plant-based diets help transform the food system with Prof. Johan Rockström (Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) and the connection between ecological and social justice with State Secretary Christiane Rohleder (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection). Throughout all the topics the co-benefits between ecological challenges and well-being opportunities became evident. Thank you to all speakers for the valuable input, open debates and inspirational discussions!
As Dirk Messner (President of the German Environment Agency) summarised the different discussions showed that we do not face a goal-problem and there is indeed growing consensus, but as we are now in the implementation stage of transformation, global cooperation, democracy and social cohesion are crucial. The architecture of change to implement and achieve the sustainability transformation is often simpler than we think and the time to translate the knowledge we have about the threats of the future into bold action is now.