By Gijs de Vries, Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); former member of the Dutch Government and former board member of the European Cultural Foundation
In 2015, world leaders pledged to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. They also promised to eradicate poverty and hunger, to secure peace and prosperity, to protect the planet, and to leave no-one behind. Today, both the Paris agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals are off-track and their time is running out. Our planet is at risk and public trust in governments is fraying. Governments must aim higher, with greater ambition, courage, and imagination. Fresh thinking is needed, along with new, innovative public-private partnerships. It is time for these partnerships to be extended to the cultural and creative sectors.
By Maria Alejandra Riaño, Research Fellow, Governance Programme, Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales IDDRI
Public development banks around the world can play a vital role in minimising economic decline, supporting recovery and financing structural transformation. To fulfil this role, they need to fully capturethe interconnected and transversal nature of the 2030 Agenda and align their practices, operations and investments accordingly. It is not just a matter of marginally adjusting strategies and processes – public development banks need to deeply reshape behaviours and investment practices.
Public development banks have certain advantages that position them at the forefront of the vast network of actors responding to the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and seeking to chart a course towards a transformative recovery. Public development banks have become an essential and complementary voice for traditional co-operation and commercial investors due to their detailed knowledge of the specific context in each region or country, and unmatched flexibility in the design of concessional loan programmes.
This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
In the context of international development, the year 2015 marked the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the much broader 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the much more ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It signalled an emerging paradigm shift in the international development agenda, a collectively agreed set of universal goals for an inclusive and sustainable global development process.
By Vanessa de Oliveira, Task Team on CSO Development Effectiveness and Enabling Environment
Civil society organisations (CSOs) are widely recognised as important partners in the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But to what extent is civil society really engaged and involved in SDG processes or consultations at the country level?
A new Task Teamstudy undertaken by the International Institute of Social Studies points to a lack of diversity in the types of civil society organisations engaged in these processes. Organisations that are part of the aid system – typically urban, often international or based in donor countries – are at a clear advantage.Similarly, another study (the 2018 Monitoring Round of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation) found opportunities for civil society organisations to be irregular, unpredictable and lacking the involvement of a diverse set of actors. The latest OECD study on Development Assistance Committee members and civil society also echoes these conclusions: dialogues between donors and CSOs are more likely to take place at the donors’ headquarters, and lack general good practice standards like setting a joint agenda.
By Ben Dickinson, Head of the Global Relations and Development Division, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve to stimulate action in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting lives and livelihoods alike, the question is how will the SDGs be financed?
By Sebastian Nieto Parra, Head of Latin America and the Caribbean Unit, OECD Development Centre, Mario Pezzini, former Director of the OECD Development Centre and special Advisor to the OECD Secretary General on Development, and Joseph Stead, Senior Policy Analyst, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration
By Xiheng Jiang, Vice-President of China Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD)
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019 shows that, while advances have been made in some areas, monumental challenges remain. The world is not on track to end poverty and millions still live in hunger. People in absolute poverty will remain at 6% by 2030, falling short of the 3% goal. It is also alarming that undernourished people went up from 784 million in 2015 to 821 million in 2017 and 55% of the population have no access to social protection. The report stresses that climate change and inequality are two major challenges, which demand enhanced national and collective action across countries, facilitated by international organizations.
Welcome to 2020–the “Decade of Delivery” for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the international development community remains hard at work on solutions, success over the next decade will require addressing an “SDG financing gap” of $5-7 trillion per year, with emerging markets making up $2.5-3 trillion of that. This will create tremendous opportunities for the private sector across the spectrum of investment vehicles—including foreign direct investment, listed and unlisted equity and private equity, in addition to the wide variety of debt instruments. Indeed, given the massive buildup of debt over the past two decades—to over 320% of global GDP, from around 230% in 1999—a shift towards more non-debt financing could be a more sustainable approach to closing the gap.
“The World’s Oceans Are in Trouble. And So Are Humans, Warns U.N. Report” – a blaring headline in Time Magazine just after the IPCC published their landmark report Oceans and the Cryosphere in September 2019. It highlights what scientists and NGOs have been shouting from the rooftops for years: human activity has put the global ocean in a dire state and by doing so is endangering planetary life as we know it. But how has it come this far? In addition to producing over half of the oxygen we breathe, being the largest carbon sink on the planet and a haven for biodiversity, a healthy ocean is a source of economic livelihoods for billions of people. The value of global ocean assets is estimated at over USD 24 trillion making it the 7th largest economy in the world in GDP terms. Due to its integral role in the global financial and environmental ecosystems, the ocean is high on the international policy agenda and its importance continues to grow. The global ‘Blue Economy’ is expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy until 2030, and already contributes USD 2.5 trillion a year in economic output. Continue reading “Why should investors care about ocean health?”
We now have just 10 years to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To date, the SDGs have been underfinanced. The annual financing gap to achieve the SDGs by 2030 currently sits at USD 2.5 trillion. The current approach is not working. Historically, financial institutions have focused on financing one or two SDGs in isolation, and this funding is often directed towards relatively low-risk investments. Collectively, we need to reconsider how we can realistically finance the SDGs by 2030, and this is where blended finance impact investment vehicles have an opportunity to shine.