Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD)

The global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can only be achieved when international, national, and local policy areas stand not in contradiction, but rather correspond with each other and the SDGs. In this way, environmental policy should not neglect the need for equitable distribution of resources, while economic and trade policy should be structured both to reduce poverty and to protect environmental goods. This is no easy task, and often appears like an effort at “squaring the circle”. In order to ensure that conflicting objectives are addressed and not overlooked, SDG 17 (target 17.14) makes a concrete demand to improve Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD). Research projects at CDE make fundamental contributions to PCSD insofar as they are designed to reveal conflicts between sustainability goals as well as ways of solving them. Since many unsolved coherency issues involve North–South relations and touch on economic policies in particular, CDE also focuses on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) in specific projects. The PCD concept is advocated not least of all by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in order to prevent situations of “giving with one hand while taking with the other”. CDE is investigating how “northern” and international economic policy and jurisprudence could be adapted to foster (sustainable) development in poor countries. This is pursued by CDE projects in the following thematic areas: