To shed light on some key trends, issues, and policy debates from different perspectives relevant to trade and sustainability, we invite you to explore our digest of selected publications released over the past quarter by a diversity of stakeholders from around the world.
Global Sustainable Development Report 2023
The Global Sustainable Development Report originated in The future we want, the outcome of the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, when member states laid the groundwork for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 associated Sustainable Development Goals. In 2016, member states decided the report should be produced once every four years to inform the quadrennial SDG review deliberations (SDG Summit) at the General Assembly, and that it should be written by an Independent Group of Scientists appointed by the Secretary-General. The 2023 Report provides evidence to help decision-makers to accelerate action and overcome impediments to progress on sustainable development.
A Breakthrough for People and Planet: Effective and Inclusive Global Governance for Today and the Future
High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism
In 2022, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed a High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism to identify concrete, actionable recommendations that support a radical shift in international cooperation for the resolution of shared global challenges and the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report is the result of these efforts.
SDG Pulse 2023
The SDG Pulse is UNCTAD’s annual publication reporting on developments relating to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. This year, the SDG Pulse monitored progress according to four transformations identified at UNCTAD’s 15th ministerial conference held in Bridgetown in October 2021: multilateralism and trade; development finance; economic diversification; and sustainability and resilience.
World Investment Report 2023 – Investing in Sustainable Energy for All
UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2023 reveals that developing countries face a widening annual investment deficit as they work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The gap is now about $4 trillion per year—up from $2.5 trillion in 2015 when the SDGs were adopted. The report shows that global foreign direct investment fell 12% in 2022 and analyses how investment policy and capital market trends impact investment in the SDGs, particularly in clean energy.
Navigating New Turbulences at the Nexus of Trade and Climate Change
The African Climate Foundation
This paper discusses some of the implications for developing countries, and in particular for Africa, of the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and the green industries support sections of the US Inflation Reduction Act. After looking in detail at these measures, the paper suggests elements of a possible response.
The Scramble for Critical Raw Materials: Time to Take Stock
Global Trade Alert
For over a decade the scramble for critical raw materials has been a flashpoint between nations. Accusations and fears that governments weaponize trade in these industrial materials abound. Given the central role they play in the digital and energy transitions, policies to secure and produce these materials have the potential to upset trade relations for decades to come. Faced with this unwelcome prospect, the 31st Global Trade Alert report delves into this complex, long-term policy challenge.
The Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals: Evolving Connections
Stockholm Environment Institute
This policy brief builds on updated data from the NDC-SDG Connections tool to analyse how countries’ climate commitments under the Paris Agreement have developed over time in relation to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
Shifting Public Financial Flows From Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy Under the Paris Agreement
The first UNFCCC Global Stocktake process—which will conclude at COP28 in Dubai—intends to evaluate progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and increase national ambitions to speed up climate action. This report is the IISD Energy Programme's submission to the first Global Stocktake, assessing global progress made on shifting public finance flows from fossil fuels towards clean energy.
Climate Finance Readiness E-book
The global landscape of climate finance is highly fragmented and complex, involving multiple pathways, actors, institutions, and instruments. Funds provided by developed countries to developing countries for climate adaptation and mitigation actions are channelled through various multilateral funds—both within and outside the scope of the operating entities of the UNFCCC’s financial mechanism. The Climate Finance Readiness E-book is a series of short briefs prepared by the South Centre to provide developing countries with a “help desk” to access and more effectively and efficiently utilise the complex web of climate finance information available to them.
Finance for Fossils – The Role of Public Financing in Expanding Petrochemicals
Global Environmental Challenge
The petrochemicals industry (mainly plastics and fertilizer production) is expanding, despite increasing attention to the environmental impact of petrochemicals. This paper explores the role public finance plays in the petrochemicals industry by mapping the public and private financial flows into large-scale petrochemical projects for the decade 2010–20 and discusses the role of public financial institutions for the development of the industry globally. It argues that public finance strongly contributes to the carbon lock-in of the sector and limits the possibilities for low-carbon investments needed to comply with the UN Paris Agreement.