Tagged on: Resource Efficency

Reports and Books
Aligning Africa’s Financial System with Sustainable Development: Briefing
United Nations Environment Programme

Adequate, appropriate finance is crucial for Africa’s sustainable development. Its availability depends on African countries developing financial systems that can effectively draw on and deploy to best use domestic and international, private and public sources. With the growing importance, in particular, of both domestic sources of finance, and private investment (both domestic and international), it is critically important that Africa’s financial and capital markets develop in ways that will promote sustainable development on the continent. Aligning a financial system with sustainable development does not happen automatically. The increasing scale and sophistication of Africa’s financial system alone will not achieve it. Indeed, international evidence amply demonstrates that financial and capital markets can — and often do — become detached and fail to adequately serve the long-term needs of inclusive sustainable development.


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2015
Event Document
Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development: Pathways to Scale
United Nations Environment Programme

Pathways to Scale, the Inquiry`s third progress report, explores how innovative ideas and practices can be made more effective, adopted more widely, and taken to scale—and as a result move the trillions that are required. Scaling-up proven but limited innovations, is a common development challenge, requiring the adept handling of inevitable technical and institutional barriers, and the creation of viable pathways which can overcome outdated but often resilient conventional wisdoms.


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2015
Reports and Books
Responsible Food Purchasing: Four Steps Towards Sustainability for the Hospitality Sector
United Nations Environment Programme

This guidance document will help food purchasers to understand better the importance to their business of responsible food purchasing, while providing practical advice and guidance to enable them to make the right decisions and choices. This guidance outlines an approach to integrating food sustainability into your business, with practical steps, checklists and tips reinforced by case studies that provide valuable learning from those already embarked on responsible food purchasing. The resources listed at the end of the document will enable you to explore the wider sustainability agenda further, as responsible food purchasing remains a rapidly evolving field.


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2015
Reports and Books
Aligning the Financial Systems in the Asia Pacific Region to Sustainable Development: Asia-Pacific High-Level Consultation on Financing for Development
United Nations Environment Programme

Adequate, appropriate finance is crucial for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific UN (ESCAP) estimates that the region needs to invest around US$2.5 trillion a year between 2013 and 2030 to achieve key sustainable development goals. The region’s developing financial and capital markets provide a unique opportunity for innovative financial and capital market policies, regulations and standards that can align private capital flows to the financing needs of sustainable development. Notably, the region’s savings, US$8.4 trillion in 2012, represents more than half of the world’s total savings, the channeling of which will make a significant difference to regional and international progress towards sustainable development.


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2015
Reports and Books
Design of a Sustainable Financial System: Netherlands input to the UNEP Inquiry
United Nations Environment Programme

In 2014, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) initiated the Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System. The Inquiry is intended to accelerate the transition to a green and circular economy by better aligning the financial system through identifying best practices and exploring financial market policy and regulatory innovations. The Inquiry will do this through an advisory council, practitioner dialogue and research. Financial sector experts from several countries have provided inputs to the Inquiry. The Sustainable Finance Lab, sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and nine other private financial institutions, invited the Inquiry’s co-director Simon Zadek to a meeting on 26 May 2015 with 20 representatives from the Dutch financial sector (see annex for the list) ranging from public policymakers and regulators to the largest banks, asset managers, insurance companies and sustainable frontrunners. A follow-up meeting will take place on 27 November 2015, hosted by Klaas Knot, President of the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). This note summarizes the input provided to the Inquiry, including best practices, financial market policy and regulatory innovations to help bring about the green economy and a sustainable financial sector. It should be noted that the policy recommendations contained in this note were not formally endorsed by all meeting participants or their institutions.


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2015
Reports and Books
Climate Commitments of Subnational Actors and Business: A Quantitative Assessment of their Emission Reduction Impact
United Nations Environment Programme

Initiatives which catalyse climate action are now recognised increasingly as playing an important role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and bridging the global emissions gap. The number and range of these initiatives is growing rapidly. There are several open questions about these initiatives at a global scale, including what contribution they can make to closing the emissions gap, but also what makes a successful initiative and how can this be replicated and scaled up. This paper focuses on the first of these questions.


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2015
Reports and Books
The role of forests in a green economy transformation in Africa
United Nations Environment Programme, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), UN-REDD Programme

This report explores the role of forests in a green economy transformation in Africa. Its aim is to present policymakers with a strong rationale for linking forests and REDD+ planning with green economy planning and investments. According to UNEP (2012), a green economy ‘results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities’. Africa is achieving high GDP growth rates but still faces challenges to reduce poverty and create sufficient jobs. As Africa’s economies are highly dependent on natural resources, the ability to generate growth in the future and meet wider development priorities will depend on what happens to key resources like forests. For this reason green economy approaches are increasingly relevant to Africa.


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2015
Reports and Books
MDG Report 2014: Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, African Union, African Development Bank and United Nations Development Programmeme

African Member States have made remarkable progress towards achieving the MDGs despite difficult initial conditions. Indeed, previous MDG Progress Reports for Africa have shown that when effort and initial conditions are factored in, African countries are among the top achievers of the MDGs. A study of countries accelerating the most rapidly towards the MDGs found that eight of the world’s top ten best performers are in Africa. Further, progress was more rapid in least-developed countries (LDCs) than in non-LDCs despite the significant investments in infrastructure and human capital that countries at very low levels of development require to achieve the MDGs.


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2014
Reports and Books
Decoupling 2: technologies, opportunities and policy options
United Nations Environment Programme

This report was produced by the Decoupling Working Group of the International Resource Panel. It explores technological possibilities and opportunities for both developing and developed countries to accelerate decoupling and reap the environmental and economic benefits of increased resource productivity. It also examines several policy options that have proved to be successful in helping different countries to improve resource productivity in various sectors of their economy, avoiding negative impacts on the environment.


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2014
Reports and Books
Assessment of Transboundary Freshwater Vulnerability in Africa to Climate Change
United Nations Environment Programme, Water Research Commission

Managing the freshwater impacts of climate change in Africa is as much a political and development challenge as a technical climate change challenge. Even without climate change, many of Africa’s water resources are facing overuse, pollution, and degradation. Poor land-use practices are contributed to this process. Large numbers of people living in poverty in rural and informal urban areas are already vulnerable to water-related risks, whether floods, droughts, poor water quality, or increasing water scarcity. The status of water resources in Africa has been changing for many decades, whether through decreasing water quality, lowered groundwater, more or less rainfall, and changed timing of rainfall. Change is not new. Climate change, however, will profoundly accelerate the rate of change, affecting the ability of people and societies to respond timeously. The rate of change is compounded by uncertainty of the impacts of climate change. While there are a number of models that attempt to predict the impacts of climate change, many of these are at a very coarse scale and do not predict localised impacts, which may differ from the generalised picture. At the same time, different models predict different climate change trends in the same areas, some, for example, predicting an increase in rainfall, while others predict a decrease in rainfall. Managing for high rates of change in a context of uncertainty is thus what is demanded of African governments.


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2014