Last updated on:
Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Within the federal structure of the Federal Republic of Germany, legislative and administrative authority over key aspects of sustainable development rests with the individual Länder. The Länder therefore play a decisive role in the implementation of the GSDS and the 2030 Agenda.

Meeting twice a year, the Federation-Länder Exchange on Sustainable Development(BLE NE) was established as aformat for regular exchange on current sustainability-relatedissues at both federal and Land level. Meetings areprepared and led by the Land currently holding the chairof the Conference of Minister-Presidents, together withthe Federal Chancellery. In 2018, a set of common indicatorsfor the Federal Government and the Länder was determinedon the basis of the indicators in the Sustainable DevelopmentStrategy.The political will to adopt a shared approach is also expressedin the declaration entitled “Working together to promote sustainable development – assuming responsibility for a bright future in Germany, Europe and around the world”that was made by the Federal Chancellor andthe heads of government of the Länder on 6 June 2019. Inthe declaration, the Länder announced that they wouldalign their political activities with the principles of sustainabledevelopment set out in the Sustainable DevelopmentStrategy as a “common compass”. The Federal Governmentand the Länder have further stated that they regard sustainabledevelopment as a joint effort.

In a multi-level federal system, each level of government bears a joint responsibility for achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda in and with Germany. The development and implementation of integrated local government sustainability strategiesare an important instrument of which even greater use should be made in the future. To highlight the local authorities’ contribution to the 2030 Agenda, municipal umbrella organisations cooperated with other stakeholders to develop SDG indicators for local authorities (

Where possible, the Federal Government relies on voluntary approaches and positive incentives. Progress on the path towards sustainable development all across society can only be achieved if everyone does their bit in line with their interests, opportunities, talents and skills. Education, which equips future generations with the capabilities and skills they need in all spheres for sustainable action, plays a decisive role. The Federal Government expects the so called “Joint Effort for Sustainability”, currently being set up by the Council for Sustainable Development and due to be launched in spring 2022, to play a major role. The Joint Effort for Sustainability is designed to highlight existing commitment to sustainable development, nurture further commitment, win over new actors and encourage the various stakeholders to engage in new cooperation. It can trigger new social momentum for sustainable development.