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The ESDN Quarterly Reports provide in-depth documentation of a selected topic on a quarterly basis. The current ESDN Quarterly Report is displayed below. For previous ESDN Quarterly Reports click here.

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ESDN Quarterly Report July 2014

Sustainability transitions at the international, European and national level:

Approaches, objectives and tools for sustainable development governance

by Umberto Pisano, Katrin Lepuschitz & Gerald Berger

This ESDN Quarterly Report (QR) provides an overview of the concept sustainability transitions and transformative environmental and sustainability policies and thus deepens the work that started by preparing the 11th ESND Workshop (Berlin, June 25-26, 2014) on the same topic. In general, sustainability transitions take place in the context of ongoing and very lively debates about future aspects of sustainable development on the international level (e.g. Rio+20 follow-up, post-2015 debate and SDGs) and important developments in Europe and on the national level. For example, EU level policy strategies formulate long-term visions for society and include objective for economic, societal and environmental innovations. In addition, several European countries (e.g. Belgium, Finland, France) work towards societal commitments for sustainable development, transformative issues, and long-term perspectives up to 2050 which signal important new angles for sustainable development.

In the first chapter of this QR, we provide an overview of the concept of transition/transformation in the context of environmental and sustainability policies. The second chapter looks at sustainability transition activities and initiative on the international and national level, with the aim to better understand the motivation and reasons for initiating a sustainability transition process; the development process; the selection of objectives for achieving transition; inter-ministerial cooperation and stakeholder involvement; and evaluation and monitoring schemes for policy learning. The third chapter includes results from the discussions with delegates at the 11th ESDN Workshop. Finally, the concluding chapter offers several reflections on sustainability transitions.

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