Tagged on: Resource Efficency

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
Summaries
Uncovering Pathways towards an Inclusive Green Economy: a Summary for Leaders
United Nations Environment Programme

An Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) is focused on expanding options and choices for national economies, using targeted and appropriate fiscal and social protection policies, and backed up by strong institutions that are specifically geared to safeguarding social and ecological floors. And it recognizes that there are many and diverse pathways to environmental sustainability. This paper speaks to the multiple benefits – economic, health, security, social and environmental – that such an approach can bring to nations, mindful of the differing challenges faced by states along the development continuum, be they developed, developing, emerging, or in conflict. It argues for policies that are nuanced, context-dependent, and modulated. An integrated approach can help states understand how to maximize, prioritize, and sequence the different benefits to human well-being that can be derived from a healthy environment. At the end of the day, an inclusive green economy must provide not only for jobs and income, but for our health, our environment and our future. This is our common challenge: creating the conditions for enhanced prosperity and growing social equity, within the contours of a finite and fragile planet.


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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
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 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
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
Regional Trends Report on Energy for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

The Regional Trends Report on Energy for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific provides perspectives on a range of issues to advance implementation of the Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (APEF) Ministerial Declaration and the Plan of Action. It identifies key challenges and presents selected case studies, offering these as a basis for further regional energy cooperation initiatives.


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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
Green Growth Indicators
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

A first set of green growth indicators was proposed in Towards Green Growth: Monitoring Progress in 2011. This report updates and extends those indicators. It charts the progress that countries have made in four areas: the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient economy||maintaining the natural asset base||improving people’s environmental quality of life||and implementing policies for, and realising the economic opportunities associated with, green growth.


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2014
Our Planet
Our Planet: small island developing states
United Nations Environment Programme

The magazine of the United Nations Environment Programme


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2014