10 October – this week’s SDG Delivery Update compiles news, opinions, reports, and events related to the Sustainable Development Goals, including details this week of the UNDESA World Economic and Social Survey 2016 looking at climate change resilience as an opportunity for reducing inequalities.
REPORTS AND PROPOSALS
- New Climate Economy: The Sustainable Infrastructure Imperative: Financing for Better Growth and Development. This report looks at three inter-related issues that tie back to investing in sustainable infrastructure: reigniting growth, delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, and reducing climate risk in line with the Paris Agreement. Section 1 of the report lays out the sustainable infrastructure opportunity, while Section 2 outlines a roadmap for financing. Section 3 focuses on cross-cutting reforms and institutional changes to transform the financial system, while Sections 4 through 6 look at energy, cities and land use, respectively. A press release by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate is here, while a PDF download of the executive summary is available here.
- UNEP: Sustainable Development in Practice: Applying an integrated approach in Latin America and the Caribbean. This report, launched at the Regional Symposium on the Integrated Approach for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean this past week in Brazil, assists policymakers seeking to balance integration within different development objectives. Further, it highlights the roles different stakeholders play in the development process. The publication provides an overview of concepts and tools successfully used in the LAC region to offer practical insights and entry points that enable the merging of the three dimensions of sustainable development.
- UNESCO, IDS and ISSC: World Science Report 2016 - Challenging Inequalities: Pathways to a Just World. This report makes clear that understanding and acting effectively upon inequalities requires looking beyond income and wealth disparities to capture their political, environmental, social, cultural, spatial, and knowledge features. It emphasizes that the costs of inequalities are very high and borne by all – not just by the deprived and the excluded, but collectively, by current and future generations, in the form of heightened conflict and instability, economic and fiscal losses, environmental degradation, and political tensions. A write-up by IISD is available here.
- UNDESA: World Economic and Social Survey 2016: Climate Change Resilience: An Opportunity for Reducing Inequalities. This survey focuses on population groups and communities that are disproportionately affected by climate hazards, whose frequency and intensity are increasing with climate change. It argues that, in the absence of a continuum of policies designed to reduce the exposure and vulnerability of people to climate change, poverty and inequalities will only worsen. A write-up by IISD is available here.
- Robert Buckley (New School) and Achilles Kallergis (NYU): Sustainable Development Goals and Urban Sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa: “Mathiness” in Measurement? This paper asserts that the method of measuring the urban sanitation component of the MDGs, and, more importantly, its proposed successor in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), does not accurately reveal whether progress is being made. The authors claim that the current measure frames the Goal in ways that direct resources away from investments with high benefit-cost ratios to approaches which fail cost-benefit tests, and that the current SDG measure exhorts rather than measures.
- WBCSD: Reporting Matters: Communicating on the Sustainable Development Goals. Spanning 163 companies from more than 20 sectors and 35 countries, the 2016 edition of Reporting Matters is the outcome of the fourth review of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) members’ sustainability and integrated reports. The 2016 edition shows that nearly a third of WBCSD members are already communicating on the SDGs in their corporate non-financial reporting, a welcome and encouraging development that is likely to increase year-on-year.
- UN Forum on Sustainability Standards: Meeting Sustainability Goals: Voluntary sustainability standards are the role of the government. This report dissects the interplay between voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) and public governance processes. It outlines how VSS can optimally contribute towards more sustainable patterns of development, exploring how governments can engage with VSS in a way that contributes to the advancement of the SDGs, as well as the areas in which public sector engagement in VSS need to be strengthened. A related press release by UNCTAD is available here.
RECENT CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS
- World Green Economy Summit (WGES) 2016. This summit took place 5-6 October 2016 in Dubai, UAE under the theme “Driving Global Green Economy.”
- 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES Cop17 closed this past week in Johannesburg, South Africa. Further information is available at the above link, while daily coverage by IISD is available here.
NEWS AND BLOGS
- Sarah Colenbrander and Andrew Norton in IIED’s blog. “How serious are the SDGs about tackling inequality?”
- Helen Burley (IIED) on the IRF’s blog. “Leadership is needed – but who and how?”
- Alan AtKisson on 17Goals.org. “Why the SDGs are leading a global transformation.”
- Paloma Duran (SDG Fund) on Devex. “One year in, how the SDGs are taking shape.”
- Susan Nicolai (ODI) in the Guardian. “How can we reach an SDG target when we’re moving in the wrong direction?”
- Mark Halle on IISD’s blog. “Achieving the SDGs: Can we manage the pace?”
- Paul Polman (Unilever) in the Huffington Post. “Sustainable infrastructure: Looking beyond man-made value.”
- Lauren Anderson, Alice Bisiaux, Faye Leone and Lynn Wagner with a policy update on IISD. “Monthly Forecast: October 2016.”
- SDSN. “One Year After the Adoption of the SDGs: Reporting Progress and Facilitating Implementation.”
- Khalil Shahyd on NRDC’s blog. “Celebrate Paris Agreement, but don’t forget the SDGs.”
- Fred K. Nkusi in the New Times (Rwanda). “Why SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement are intimately linked.”
- Jonathan Fowler on UNISDR’s website. “Linking disaster risk, development and climate change.”
- Shamshad Akhtar (UNESCAP) on Policy Forum. “Collaborate to innovate: Science, technology and innovation for sustainable development.”
- Carolyn Fortuna on Ecopreneurist. “Millennials want Sustainable Development Goals.”
- Kanaga Raja on Social Watch. “United Nations: Corporate reporting can contribute to 2030 Agenda.”
- Sustainable Brands. “SDGs Becoming More Prominent in Sustainability Reporting, But Challenges Remain.”
- Bassam Sebti on the World Bank’s Voices blog. “From billions to trillions: converting billions of official assistance to trillions in total financing.”
- Mirza Azizul Islam in the Financial Express (Bangladesh). “The role of the banking system in achieving SDGs.”
- John Maurice in the Lancet. “Measuring progress towards the SDGs—a new vital science.”
- Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah (CIVICUS) on Devex. “Norway must stand firm on its commitment to sustainable development.”
This Update is compiled by WRI, a member of IRF — a collaboration of 10 international research institutions providing critical thinking, integrated analysis and raising awareness around the 2030 Agenda. Submissions for this digest are welcome. Please e-mail Adam Fishman (email@example.com) with suggestions, or any comments or queries. To subscribe to this weekly digest, along with other WRI newsletters, please visit this sign-up page on WRI’s website.