Climate ambition and sustainable development for a new decade: a catalytic framework
This paper examines the Global Climate Action Agenda (GCAA) and discusses options to improve sub‐ and non‐state involvement in post‐2020 climate governance. A framework that stimulates sub‐ and non‐state action is a necessary complement to national governmental action, as the latter falls short of achieving low‐carbon and climate‐resilient development as envisaged in the Paris Agreement. Applying design principles for an ideal‐type orchestration framework, we review literature and gather expert judgements to assess whether the GCAA has been collaborative, comprehensive, evaluative and catalytic. Results show that there has been greater coordination among orchestrators, for instance in the organization of events. However, mobilization efforts remain event‐driven and too little effort is invested in understanding the progress of sub‐ and non‐state action. Data collection has improved, although more sophisticated indicators are needed to evaluate climate and sustainable development impacts. Finally, the GCAA has recorded more action, but relatively little by actors in developing countries. As the world seeks to recover from the COVID‐19 crisis and enters a new decade of climate action, the GCAA could make a vital contribution in challenging times by helping governments keep and enhance climate commitments; strengthening capacity for sub‐ and non‐state action; enabling accountability; and realizing sustainable development.
Central bank mandates, sustainability objectives and the promotion of green finance
This paper examines the extent to which addressing climate-related risks and supporting sustainable finance fit into the current set of central bank mandates and objectives. To this end, we conduct a detailed analysis of central bank mandates and objectives, using the IMF’s Central Bank Legislation Database, and compare these to current arrangements and sustainability-related policies central banks have adopted in practice. To scrutinise the alignment of mandates with climate-related policies, we differentiate between the impact of environmental factors on the conventional core objectives of central banking and a potential supportive role of central banks with regard to green finance and sustainability. Of the 135 central banks in our sample, only 12% have explicit sustainability mandates, while another 40% are mandated to support the government’s policy priorities, which in most cases include sustainability goals. However, given that climate risks can directly affect central banks’ traditional core responsibilities, most notably monetary and financial stability, even central banks without explicit or implicit sustainability objectives ought to incorporate climate-related physical and transition risks into their core policy implementation frameworks in order to efficiently and successfully safeguard macro-financial stability.
Уулзалт, хураамж ба мэдээллийн урсгал: Монгол улсад уул уурхайн болон усны бодлогыг зохицуулах нь (Mongolian version of: Forums, fees and data flows - coordinating mining and water policy in Mongolia)
Эрдэс болон металлын олборлолт Монгол улсад усны хэмжээ, чанарт аюул болон заналхийлж байна. Хууль эрх зүйн хувьд сайн зохицуулалт байгаа боловч оролцогч талуудын оролцоо, мэдээллийн хүртээмж, хүн хүч болон санхүүгийн чадавх, ерөнхий ил тод байдал болон хариуцлага хүлээлгэлт байхгүй байгаа нь хэрэгжилтэд саад болж байна.
Tax expenditure reporting and domestic revenue mobilization in Africa
The use of tax expenditures (TEs) is an important fiscal practice that is often overlooked in public spending debates. The fiscal cost as well as the lack of effectiveness of TEs can be significant. This chapter describes the state of TE reporting across the world, focusing on Africa. It begins by explaining in detail what TEs are and what their role in government expenditure is. It proceeds by offering examples of the fiscal cost of these provisions, their (in)effectiveness, and the reasons why they are often hard to remove. The main portion of the chapter focuses on the lack and inconsistency of TE reporting. The chapter provides the first results of the “Global Tax Expenditures Database” (GTED), an ongoing project aiming to increase transparency and boost research in the TE field. The GTED reveals that over 64% of African countries do not provide any information on their TEs, while most of the countries that do report on TEs leave out important information such as the policy objectives and beneficiaries of those provisions. Lastly, using the available data, the chapter reports that, on average, TEs in African countries account for 2.8% of GDP and 17.8% of total tax revenue, and being as high as 7.8% (in Senegal) and 58.4% (in Mauritania), respectively.
Knowledge diplomacy and the future(s) of global cooperation
Scientific and expert knowledge is central to any sustainable future. Because consensual knowledge establishes the parameters within which decisions can be made despite complexity and uncertainty, it assumes a facilitating function. This can be for example well observed on how national strategies to achieve sustainability are developed, legitimized, implemented, and assessed. Policy-makers consult scientific experts to better understand problem issues and to come up with evidence-based solutions that can be jointly accepted by any political ideology and by the constituents. At the same time, the reliance of policy-making to scientific knowledge increases the demand or need to be critical of the emerging scientific authority or technocracy. In the context of transformation to sustainability (T2S) where the outcomes of bargaining and persuasion games represent new lock-ins, the ability or the inability to influence the definition of these lock-ins through equitable access to knowledge is integral to the legitimacy of T2S. Knowledge diplomacy (and how it leads up to consensual knowledge) is an important driver of creating visions and narratives on sustainable futures. At the same time, the transformation process towards sustainability creates new norms for example in governance and social relations that have implications to how knowledge diplomacy is conducted. Expanding access to education as a strategy to reduce income inequality is more likely to empower a broader citizen participation in consensual knowledge making and thus in policy-making. Building on the author’s work on Sustainable Development Pathways, this article introduces three possible futures scenarios of how knowledge diplomacy can unfold depending on how access to scientific and expert knowledge translates into convening power: convergent cosmopolitan society (melting pot 1), convergent liberal world (melting pot 2), and divergent glocality (salad bowl).
Do social transfers benefit local economic development? The case of cash-for-work programmes in Jordan
The discussion paper investigates what effects cash-for-work (CfW) can have on local economic development (LED). It is based on the hypothesis that CfW, which is targeted provision of jobs to vulnerable households, affects LED directly (through employment and income for workers and the creation of public goods) but also indirectly (through multiplier and investment effects as well as better social cohesion). The article builds on quantitative and qualitative research conducted in Jordan in 2019, Jordan being a particularly interesting case for the topic: Here, different foreign donors have set up a whole bunch of different CfW programmes after 2016 to support Syrian refugees along with vulnerable Jordanians. The results confirm that CfW has an indirect impact on LED through multiplier effects since CfW participants spend most of their income locally. In addition, CfW programmes in Jordan improve the skills and employability of their participants. This upgrading does not transform into higher employment rates, however, because the Jordanian labour market is extremely tight. Finally, the programmes empower women; they open new doors to the labour market and contribute to a – however not irrevocable – change of traditional gender roles. Our suggestion is thus that other refugee host countries set up CfW programmes as well, covering both refugees and low-income nationals.
Net-zero central banking: A new phase in greening the financial system
Reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is a critical goal of climate policy. Across the world, growing numbers of governments are introducing targets and plans to achieve net-zero around the middle of this century. Alongside this, leading banks and investors are committing to align their portfolios with net-zero by 2050. As guardians of the financial system, central banks and supervisors also need to introduce explicit strategies to support the transition to net-zero as the next stage in confronting the risks of climate change. This report is a first attempt to examine the role that central banks and financial supervisors could play in supporting the transition to net-zero.