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Sustainability Transitions For The European Green Deal With A New Knowledge Base and The Model of An Integral Green Slovenia
This paper addresses complex challenges related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development1 and argues that this ambitious global programme has to be strongly supported by integrally framed, holistic, trans-disciplinary and trans-sectoral policies for sustainable development on all levels, including integrated metrics, from local to regional and global level. Despite growing adoption of the SDGs and other policies that strive to increase well-being without sacrificing the environment, measuring the Ecological Footprint (EF) and Human Development Index (HDI) reveals that very few countries come close to achieving sustainable development. Furthermore, when we look at the European environment we acknowledge that the long-term outlook is not as positive as recent trends may imply.2 Therefore, fundamental transformation (sustainable transitions) of societal systems (energy, transport, food and material use systems), that are at the root cause of environmental and climate pressures, are urgently needed – i.e., through profound changes in dominant structures, practices, technologies, policies, lifestyles, thinking. Ecosystem-based approaches with promoting social and technological innovations have key roles in this process. Enabling sustainability transitions will, among others, require a transformation of the knowledge system supporting governance and public engagement. The new knowledge base and recommendations proposed by SOER 2020 (EEA, 2019) can be seen as key to achieving several SDGs and implementing the European Green Deal – the plan to make the EU's economy sustainable, by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities, and making the transition just and inclusive for all. The Green Deal is also at the heart of the EU recovery plan, of the “Building back better” policies and funds for a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe. The model of an Integral Green Slovenia3 represents an innovative and holistic societal and economic agenda for sustainable development, including the concept of smart integration of the EU’s sustainable development policies and applying the knowledge base for sustainability transitions.