Supporting developing countries for a global sustainable recovery: lessons from the Italian G20 Presidency
This blog draws lessons from the Italian G20 Presidency to inform the development policy considerations and efforts of the upcoming Indonesian, Indian and Brazilian G20 Presidencies. These Presidencies have a great potential to prioritize sustainable recovery in the Global South in their own, as well as in cooperation with the G7 and EU Presidencies when appropriate.
The democratic deficit of the G20
In the last few decades, the democratic credentials of global governance institutions have been extensively debated in the fields of international relations and political philosophy. However, despite their prominent role in the architecture of global governance, club governance institutions like the Group of Seven (G7) or the Group of Twenty (G20) have rarely been considered from the perspective of democratic theory. Focussing on the G20, this paper analyses its functions in international political practice and discusses whether, in exercising these functions, the G20 exhibits a democratic deficit. As a standard of democracy, the analysis uses the all-affected principle, according to which all those who are affected by a policy decision should be given the opportunity to participate in decision-making. This paper identifies several democratic shortcomings of the G20, for instance related to the exclusion of citizens of non-member states and a lack of parliamentary and public control. By describing realisable reforms that could to some degree alleviate these shortcomings, it is shown that more democratic institutional alternatives are feasible. Thus, the ascription of a democratic deficit to the G20 is warranted.
Financing the 2030 Agenda: an SDG alignment framework for public development banks
During the first ‘Finance in Common Summit’, in November 2020, public development banks (PDBs) from around the world committed to align their activities with the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While there is increasing interest in mainstreaming the SDGs, we still lack an open and deeper discussion of what that means. As a consequence, there is as yet no broad-based ambitious operational approach. The present study is the product of a European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) collaboration aiming both to propose a definition of SDG alignment and to provide concrete principles to further operationalise and promote such alignment in practice. To align with the multidimensional scope of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs, PDBs must incorporate the imperative of the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient and equitable socio-economic models in all their financing decisions and project cycles. Up to now, many SDG alignment discussions have been limited to mapping exercises. Some actors perceive “SDG investments” as equivalent to infrastructure investments, without questioning whether infrastructures are designed sustainably. The present study applies a much deeper comprehension of the 2030 Agenda, arguing that alignment with the Paris Agreement and SDGs must go hand in hand. Implementing the 2030 Agenda requires PDBs to ensure coherence and spur a profound change on the scale of the entire PDB organisation and across its full range of operations. As such, SDG alignment demands high-level commitment, together with deep governance and, probably, business model restructuring. However, moving from a clear understanding of the 2030 Agenda to a truly operational approach is no easy task. Hence, this study develops four operationalisation principles, along with practical steps to implement them. Together, these provide a guiding checklist for PDBs’ efforts to align their activities with the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.
Does food security matter to subjective well-being? Evidence from a cross-country panel
The conventional economics literature equates welfare with consumption-based utility, neglecting the psychological effects of uncertainty and fear of the future on well-being. In this study, we examine how food insecurity relates to changes in subjective well-being within a comparative analysis across different country groups between 2005 and 2018 and find that food insecurity matters to well-being. We also examine the relationship between experienced food insecurity and well-being, taking into account any potential endogeneity. In low-income, food-deficient, food-importing and drought-affected countries, changes in the prevalence of undernourishment explain a great deal of the variation in subjective well-being over time.
Social protection for climate-induced loss and damage: priority areas for increasing capacity and investment in developing countries
The Technical Expert Group on Comprehensive Risk Management (TEG-CRM) – established in 2019 under the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) – developed its Plan of Action (PoA) as an essential element of a five-year rolling workplan of the Executive Committee of the WIM. The PoA supports the implementation of activities under strategic workstream (c) on enhanced cooperation and facilitation in relation to comprehensive risk management approaches. Both workplans acknowledge social protection as a distinct risk management instrument. This briefing paper supports the implementation of the TEG-CRM PoA and the workplan of the Executive Committee of the WIM. Its objectives are to highlight policy gaps on using social protection to support loss and damage action (at the national level), and to define key capacity-building needs in developing countries. The brief further seeks to: i) recommend priorities for strengthening national social protection systems with the view to minimizing, averting and addressing residual loss and damage associated with climate extremes and slow onset changes; and ii) inform the future work on social protection by the TEG-CRM and, more broadly, that of the thematic expert groups established under the WIM.
EU development policy as a crisis-response tool? Prospects and challenges for linking the EU’s COVID-19 response to the green transition
This paper analyses how the EU and its member states link the short-term recovery to the pandemic with longer-term socio-ecological transformations in their development policies. It discusses the implications this challenging task has had on the dynamics between the EU and member states.
Eurafrika: der europäische Green Deal und Afrika
Deutschland soll sich für die Finanzierung von Wissenschaft in Partnerschaft mit wissenschaftlichen Institutionen und Partnern in Afrika aussprechen, sagt Anna-Katharina Hornidge im Interview mit Klaus Bernhard Hofmann. Sie betont auch, dass ein Erfolg der Energiewende nur möglich ist, wenn ein Teil der erneuerbaren Energien importiert werde. (Grüner Wasserstoff könne eine wichtige Rolle spielen.)