6 December 2018
SDG Knowledge Weekly: G20, Linkages to Paris Agreement Implementation, Green Growth, LDCs
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Policy briefs by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and German Development Institute describe the state of play going into the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 24).

The Carbon and Climate Law Review published a special issue on the Paris Agreement Work Programme, and the International Institute for Environment and Development released three short briefs on least developed countries vis-a-vis COP 24.

The Green Growth Knowledge Platform hosted its Sixth Annual Conference in conjunction with the OECD's 2018 Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum, supported by a number of papers relating to the theme, ‘Inclusive solutions for the green transition: Competitiveness, jobs/skills and social dimensions'.

Last week’s G20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina focused on the theme ‘Building consensus for fair and sustainable development,’ setting the stage for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 24, or Katowice Climate Change Conference) now underway in Poland. This SDG Knowledge Weekly compiles knowledge products that link topics under discussion at COP 24 to the G20 Summit’s theme, priorities and outcome. Those topics include implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, inclusive growth, the future of work, and support to developing countries.

The G20 Leaders’ Declaration keeps “the multilateralism torch alive” according to In Depth News, and reaffirms their countries’ commitment to “leading the transformation towards sustainable development and support[ing] the 2030 Agenda as the framework for advancing this goal.” The Declaration further: notes that the Paris Agreement on climate change is “irreversible”; commits their countries to its full implementation; and encourages “energy transitions that combine growth with decreasing greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions.”

Although the Leaders’ outcome holds promise, the international community also identified areas to watch in the lead-up to COP 24, noting the prominent role of coal in host country Poland’s economy, and a continued emissions gap. On clear rules for the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), IISD’s Elena Kosolapova summarizes where we stand going into COP 24 and key issues for discussion in an SDG Knowledge Hub policy brief. Daily IISD Reporting Services coverage of COP 24 is also available here.

The German Development Institute’s (DIE) issue of The Current Column from 26 November 2018 notes that the “Paris Agreement new needs clear rules and higher ambition.” Authors Britta Horstmann and Jacopo Bencini describe discussions under the Talanoa Dialogue in addition to contested issues such as reporting requirements for future Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and the extent which requirements can or should differ between developed and developing countries. “If UN climate policy still wants to influence climate reality in a positive way,” they conclude, “it needs to increase speed.”

A special issue of the Carbon & Climate Law Review (CCLR) “on the Paris Rulebook” explores topics currently under negotiation. The outcome will impact areas such as GHG accounting rules, modalities for the Paris Agreement’s review mechanisms (the transparency framework, global stocktake and implementation and compliance mechanism), and rules for the operation of the new cooperative mechanisms established by the Agreement.

An introduction to the CCLR issue by Harro van Asselt, Kati Kulovesi and Michael Mehling outlines elements of the Paris Rulebook; summarizes other others’ contributions in areas of finance, transparency and compliance; and describes the “spectrum of possible outcomes” that can arise at the end of the COP. Other articles describe the interplay between accounting and reporting on mitigation efforts; and areas of learning from the SDG implementation process.

On meeting ambition and delivering on pledges, the Climate South project assesses the performance and scope of cooperative initiatives registered with the UN Climate Change Climate Action Portal. Although the study and report find that the initiatives’ performance is largely positive, there is a “continuing gap between the global North and South in terms of visibility, participation, and leadership.” The report notes that approximately a quarter of the cooperative initiatives come from non-OECD countries, but points to “sizeable” participation in the Latina America and Caribbean (LAC) and African regions. It further notes that the gap may be partially attributable increased visibility of sub-national and non-state actors in developed countries, which in developing country contexts may mean that climate actions “go unrecorded in international platforms and databases.”

Climate South is a three-year project that aims to develop a rigorous social scientific evidence base to support effective climate action by cities, regional governments, and businesses in developing countries. It is led by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) (Kenya), the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University (UK), DIE (Germany), and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) (India).

The Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) hosted its Sixth Annual Conference from 27-29 November 2018, in Paris, France, in conjunction with the OECD’s 2018 Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum (GGSD) on the theme, ‘Inclusive solutions for the green transition: Competitiveness, jobs/skills and social dimensions.’ Joint GGKP-OECD issue papers on the theme of the conference and forum review transition management strategies, green policies and firms’ competitiveness, opportunities for individuals and households, and how small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can drive green and inclusive growth.

The agenda discussed managing a green jobs and skills transition, green growth and competitiveness, and the social impacts of a green transition. A range of parallel discussions—on which supporting papers authored by the speakers are organized by session under the GGKP Conference Page’s “Program” tab—included topics on, inter alia: “greening” the workforce; policies for regional resilience, climate adaptation and spatial planning systems in Asia; energy pricing and distributional impacts; opportunities and challenges facing SMEs in a green transition; trade vis-a-vis environmental goods and international competitiveness; and the perception of green growth and other climate change policies.

Focusing on the least developed countries (LDCs), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) released three short briefings:

Additional issues of the SDG Knowledge Weekly can be found here.

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