In 2015 three high-level processes to achieve a paradigm shift towards a sustainable and low-carbon development
are running in parallel. The general idea behind these processes is to specify global and national objectives
in terms of environmental protection, development and climate protection. We face a debate on firstly
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda originating from the Rio+20
process and secondly on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that may be merged with the SDGs. Thirdly
parties are negotiating a new Climate Convention under the UNFCCC. These processes are intended to provide
inspiration for action and deliver objectives for implementation at the national level supported by international
A globally defined but flexible approach for assessing sustainable development can provide invaluable support
towards a globally harmonised assessment of sustainable development, comparable through mitigation mechanisms
and embedded into development planning at the national level. This can then be used to integrate
sustainability assessment standards into Performance Measurement Systems such as national Monitoring,
Reporting and Verification Systems. On the other hand, compliance with standards ensures that countries also
meet the requirements of international financial institutions such as the Green Climate Fund.
Sustainable development benefits of climate protection instruments are highly relevant for development paths
beyond aspects of climate change. Mitigation measures may include additional health, social, environmental
and macro-economic as well as equity benefits. With the prospect of a new climate protection agreement at the
end of 2015, some developing countries have already started to prepare and develop their climate policies.
Benefits of sustainable development in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and new market mechanisms
indeed may have the potential to meet the needs of developing countries both in terms of sustainable development
and mitigation measures.
For this purpose, the CDM Sustainable Development Tool offers initial steps towards a globally applicable
standard under an international UN institution. The Wuppertal Institute, together with UNEP DTU Partnership,
has developed recommendations for its revision, improvement and enhancement that are outlined in this study.