Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability 2012-2013
The multilateral, nation state-centred institutions of the 20th century are a key building block of international governance for sustainable development. Yet, assessing the performance of the traditional multilateral approach against some of the major global contemporary challenges (climate change, sustainable development, trade), reveals that existing institutions do not appear to be adapting fast enough to an environment in flux, marked by changing geopolitical realities or technological and economic shifts, but also by the emergence of new actors. This suggests a need to equip international governance with new structures designed to deliver and drive practical progress at a much faster pace on the one hand, and to encourage engagement with new actors on the other hand.
New actors include innovative public-private partnerships that go beyond traditional, intergovernmental governance structures and include civil society, business and government stakeholders. The recent Rio+20 summit included a number of examples of what such multistakeholder coalitions might look like. However, the need remains to understand how these new structures can better interact with the existing multilateral institutions to achieve sustainable development at the required speed.
- More than 2.3 million green jobs have been created in the renewable energy sector in recent years.
- Some 500 million small farms worldwide, most still rainfed, provide up to 80% of the food consumed in a large part of the developing world. Investing in smallholder women and men is an important way to increase food security and nutrition for the poorest, as well as food production for local and global markets.
- As many as 40% of the world’s oceans are suffering from the impacts of human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries and loss of coastal habitats.
“I want to build a broad consensus among ourselves about what we are to try to do, what kinds of specific concrete actions we can propose, inspire, highlight that might make a difference for the world.”
Jim Bacchus, Chair, Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability, on the work the Council could achieve
“Brown economy has hit the wall and failed… Inclusive green economy is not only a way to go, it is the only way to go. Green economy is not about limiting growth – it is about enabling growth.”
Ida Auken, Minister of Environment of Denmark, at the Rio+20 Summit
A Message from the Friends of Rio
Annex to the Message from the Friends of Rio (example of successful PPPs)
CITES: From Stockholm in ‘72 to Rio+20 – Back to the future, John Scanlon, Member of the Global Agenda Council
Global Green Growth Forum
8-9 October 2012
UNFCCC Conference of Parties
18-26 November - 7 December 2012
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013
Salzburg Global Seminar, A Climate for Change: New Thinking on Governance for Sustainability
23-27 June 2013
The Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability strives to develop concrete proposals for effective multistakeholder governance structures that go beyond the multilateralism typically associated with the 20th century to deliver sustainable development that is economically sound, environmentally respectful and socially equitable.
The Council believes that international institutions need to evolve in ways that encourage and enable creative and collaborative initiatives to further sustainable development by engaging with coalitions comprised of stakeholders from government, business, science and civil society. This requires new structures of governance that provide legal latitude, technical assistance and necessary funding mechanisms; this would enable progress towards sustainable development at a much faster pace. At the same time, these governance structures need to acknowledge the changed shape of the global economy in the 21st century and, especially, the emergence of new nations as major shapers of the global economy.
This new global governance should not only adopt a “top-down” approach, encouraging deliberations and negotiations among nation-states, but also, and crucially, it should take a “bottom-up” global approach, involving multistakeholder coalitions. The Council shares best practices of effective bottom-up dynamics for sustainable development, to conceptualize new models of governance for sustainability, and to promote understanding and leadership to enable the necessary governance shifts. Toward these ends, the Council’s task will be to develop proposals for new, practical and effective governance structures that could spur and support sustainable development worldwide.
Research Analyst: Vanessa Lecerf, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Councils, firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Manager: Emily Brichart, Project Associate, Climate Change Initiatives, email@example.com
Forum Lead: Dominic Waughray, Senior Director, Environmental Initiatives, firstname.lastname@example.org