SDG Update – 29 January 2019

POLICY BRIEFS

SDG Knowledge Weekly: WEF 2019, Digitalization, Inequality, and Inclusive Growth

Adam Fishman, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) took place from 22-25 January 2019 in Davos, Switzerland, to mixed reviews. This SDG Knowledge Weekly focuses on papers and articles on issues that took the spotlight at Davos, such as climate change, data and digital economies, inequality, economic uncertainty, and increasing political volatility.

FEATURED

WEF’s Global Report Identifies Climate Change Impacts, Water Crises Among Top Five Risks

24 January 2019: The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published the 14th edition of its annual report ranking global risks, both in terms of impact and likelihood, with environmental threats topping both lists for the third year in a row. ‘The Global Risks Report 2019,’ assesses the current global risk landscape, and identifies priority areas for action in 2019.

Sustainability Reporting Standard Aims to Drive Finance towards SDGs

23 January 2019: A new standard has been launched to help drive finance towards the most impactful sustainable development projects. Verra, the non-profit organization that developed and manages the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), launched the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta), setting out rules and criteria for the design, implementation, and assessment of projects that aim to deliver sustainable development benefits.

Institutional Finance Update: Climate Finance Flows on the Rise, but Improved Data Needed to Track Progress on Mitigation and Adaptation Pathways

18 December 2018: The year 2018 concluded with the adoption of the Katowice Climate Package that lays out the guidelines for implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and stipulates making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-resilient development as one of the goals of the post-2020 climate regime. The UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance (SCF), Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published assessments of climate finance flows.

NEWS

Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific Prepare for UNEA-4

25 January 2019: The Third Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific brought approximately 575 participants together, including 26 ministers and vice-ministers of environment, the President of Sri Lanka, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, to focus on the theme of upcoming fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4): ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP).’

International Disaster Database: 61.7 Million Impacted by Disasters in 2018

24 January 2019: The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) highlighted findings from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) concluding that extreme weather events accounted for the majority of the 61.7 million people affected by disasters in 2018. UNISDR underscored the importance of continuing to improve disaster risk management (DRM) to adapt to climate change and reduce disaster losses.

Governments Agree on GEO-6 Summary for Policy Makers

24 January 2019: The Intergovernmental Meeting on the Sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) considered the SPM, and concluded with agreement to forward it to the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) in March, for consideration and possible endorsement by UNEA-4.

Environmental Laws Impeded by Lack of Enforcement, First-ever Global Assessment Finds

24 January 2019: Environmental laws have grown dramatically over the last three decades but, due to the lack of implementation and enforcement, they fall far short of what is required to address environmental challenges. Weak enforcement is a global trend exacerbating environmental threats. This is the main conclusion of the first-ever global assessment of environmental rule of law.

Survey Finds One Third of UN Workers Experienced Sexual Harassment in Last Two Years

24 January 2019: As part of efforts to better understand sexual harassment across the UN system, Deloitte conducted an online survey in November 2018, with participation from 30,363 UN personnel. The resulting ‘Safe Space Survey Report’ released in January 2019 finds that one in three respondents reported experiencing at least one instance of sexual harassment in the last two years. Junior Professional Officers, UN Volunteers and Consultants reported the highest prevalence rates.

UN Panel Reviews Benefits, Risks of Digital Technology

23 January 2019: UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on the UN High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation to propose innovative ways to harness the benefits and manage the risks of the digital age. The Panel met in Geneva, Switzerland, in preparation to submit its final report in mid-2019.