‘Prosperity all-round: Sustainable Development Goals feature prominently on the international stage’, by Janez Potočnik (UNEP-IRP)

03-04-2018 | News item

Will the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide direction for our national policy processes? Will the SDGs help to strike a balance between public values and economic, social and ecological interests? What are the challenges in this respect, particularly for the Netherlands?

Since 2015, all countries of the world have endorsed the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals reflect a wide range of objectives for 2030 on issues of poverty, environment, human health and education. In contrast to the Millennium Development Goals, which are focused on developing countries only, the SDGs apply to all UN member countries. The SDGs present a formidable challenge, also for the Netherlands, particularly in relation to sustainable production and consumption and the climate.

In his PBL Academy Lecture, as an advocate for the circular economy, Dr Janez Potočnik will talk about the golden opportunities offered by the SDGs. Opportunities that, in the Netherlands, as yet have been seized only to a very limited degree. Dr Potočnik will be addressing the question of how policy and politics could use the SDGs to prioritise public values or to strike a better balance between them. 

Programme 17 April 2018

15:30 hrs             Welcome – coffee and tea

16:00 hrs             Lecture Dr Janez Potočnik, followed by a discussion

17:45 hrs             Drinks

The event will be hosted by PBL’s Director-General, Professor Hans Mommaas.

Lecture venue is PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Bezuidenhoutseweg 30, The Hague.

About the speaker

Dr Janez Potočnik (1958) is a Slovenian economist and former European Commissioner for Science and Research (2004–2010) and Environment (2010–2014). Before his appointment at the European Commission, among other things, he was Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development of the Republic of Slovenia, Head of the negotiation team for Slovenia’s entry to the European Union, and the Slovenian Minister responsible for European Affairs. After the new commission was installed, Janez Potočnik was appointed as member and co-chair of the International Resource Panel hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme, as well as Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and Member of the European Policy Centre's Advisory Council.