You are here: Home News In Short German Advisory Council on Global Change issues Report: Digital change and successful climate protection can only succeed together

German Advisory Council on Global Change issues Report: Digital change and successful climate protection can only succeed together

11/04/2019 - The ongoing digitalisation and the transformation towards more sustainability and climate protection can only succeed together, states the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) in its report "Towards Our Common Digital Future". Digitalisation must be put at the service of sustainable development. If this fails, digital change could further exacerbate climate and environmental problems, for example by increasing resource and energy consumption, the council’s experts warn, including Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The report was presented to the German Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek and the German Federal Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze in Berlin.
German Advisory Council on Global Change issues Report: Digital change and successful climate protection can only succeed together

Handing over the Council's report at the Federal Press Conference in Berlin. Photo: WBGU

In its report, the Council puts digital change and technological innovations at the centre of sustainable transformation and climate protection. It concludes “that digitalisation can help us remain within the planetary boundaries. Decarbonisation, a circular economy, more environmentally friendly agriculture, resource efficiency and emissions reductions, and the monitoring and protection of ecosystems could be achieved more easily and quickly with digital innovations than without them.” As a first big step the Council recommends to align digital change with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. Further, they suggest to summon a UN-Summit for “Sustainability in the Digital World” with the goal of elaborating a UN-Charta for a long-term framework.

However, the experts also utter a warning: Digitalisation and technological innovations will not automatically lead to a sustainable transformation, but require strong political, social and scientific efforts. “It needs anticipatory mechanisms like assessing technology’s potential consequences, but also a cross-linkage between digitalisation and sustainability research,” the report lays out. Especially when it comes to the analysis of risks and opportunities, the Council still identifies strong deficits and research gaps not only in Germany but also worldwide.

The German Advisory Council on Global Change issues was established in 1992 as an advisory council for the Federal Government in order to analyse environmental problems and development challenges and to give recommendation to policymakers.

Weblink to the report “Towards Our Common Digital Future”: https://www.wbgu.de/en/publications/publication/towards-our-common-digital-future

Document Actions

Contact PR

For further information please contact the PIK press office:
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-mail: press@pik-potsdam.de

Would you like to subscribe to our rss feed?
RSS Feed rss feed