12 July 2018

THE WILLING WORLD: SHAPING AND SHARING A SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL PROSPERITY. Written by James Bacchus and published by the Cambridge University Press (June 2018). In this book, Bacchus, who served twice as Chairman of the Appellate Body of the WTO and is Senior Counsellor at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), among other roles, aims to explain how willing actors around the world can work towards cooperative economic and environmental solutions in the face of global trends of governments turning inward. He highlights the value of leveraging, linking, and scaling up local and regional partnerships, as well as the importance of an enhanced, international rules-based system. Specifically, Bacchus argues that international rules and enabling frameworks should treat the economy and environment as one, and suggests ways to do so. To purchase the book, visit the publisher’s website

GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: WHAT ROLE FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRIAL POLICIES? By Judith Fessehaie and Mike Morris for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) (July 2018). This report is a result of the authors’ work on ICTSD’s Inclusive Economic Transformation research programme on global value chains (GVCs). The authors review a number of case studies in order to analyse GVCs across a variety of sectors and countries. The authors identify trends across sectors in order to advance policy recommendations focused on aligning value chain production with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To download the report, visit the ICTSD website

HOW CAN THE ARGENTINIAN G20 PRESIDENCY SUPPORT TRADE’S CONTRIBUTION TO A SUSTAINABLE FOOD FUTURE. Published by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) (July 2018). This policy brief examines the role of trade in contributing to a “sustainable food future,” one of the top priorities identified by Argentina for its 2018 presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20). It reviews previous G20 discussions on food security, focusing on soil health, which Argentina has identified as a core concern. The brief makes three proposals for the G20 to consider, advocating for a recognition of the importance of trade and investment to a “sustainable food future” and for continued focus on the intersection of these issues in various international forums. To download the brief, visit the ICTSD website

2017 JOINT REPORT ON MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS’ CLIMATE FINANCE. Published by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and World Bank Group (WBG)  (June 2018). This annual publication, produced by various multilateral development banks (MDBs) provides an overview of climate finance committed by these international agencies. Reviewing the six MDBs, the report shows a 28 percent increase in climate financing in 2017 compared to the previous year, for a total of US$35.2 billion. Of this total, US$27.9 billion was invested in climate mitigation projects while US$7.4 billion was devoted to climate adaptation projects in emerging and developing countries. The report also explains its methodologies for tracking climate finance. Future reports will also include data from the Islamic Development Bank. The report can be accessed on the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) website

OECD-FAO AGRICULTURAL OUTLOOK 2018-2027. Published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (July 2018). This joint report analyses and makes projections for agricultural commodities, biofuels, and fish. This edition also contains a special section on agriculture and fisheries in the Middle East and North Africa. The report projects that over the next decade, real agricultural prices will remain low globally due to reduced growth in global demand. It also projects that land-abundant countries, primarily in the Americas, will increase net exports, while North Africa and the Middle East will see an increased reliance on imports. To download the report, visit the OECD website

THE EUROPEAN UNION’S PROPOSED DIGITAL SERVICES TAX: A DE FACTO TARIFF. By Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Zhiyao (Lucy) Lu for the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) (June 2018). This PIIE Policy Brief discusses proposed European Commission taxes that would affect large US multinational corporations (MNCs). Specifically, it looks at a digital services tax and a digital profits tax, and how US MNCs in the digital industry, like Google and Facebook, may be affected. The authors argue that the proposed taxes could face questions over their WTO compliance, along with noting possible US countermeasures if the taxes are implemented. To download the brief, visit the PIIE website

BLENDING CLIMATE FUNDS TO FINANCE LOW-CARBON, CLIMATE-RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE. By Joshua P. Meltzer for the Brookings Institution (June 2018). This Brookings Working Paper analyses financing needs for low-carbon, climate-resilient (LCR) infrastructure around the world, which it defines to include renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass transit, and more compact cities. It estimates that US$85 trillion of LCR infrastructure will need to be invested by 2030 in order to meet the UN’s Paris climate change agreement goals. The paper makes recommendations on how multilateral climate funds (MCFs) can best be used to enhance LCR infrastructure investment, including through working with multilateral development banks (MDBs). To download the paper, visit the Brookings website.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB) SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2018: INVESTING FOR AN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC FREE OF POVERTY. Published by the ADB (June 2018). This biennial report covers the ADB’s sustainability efforts for the 2016-2017 period as part of its new long-term strategy to eradicate poverty in Asia and the Pacific and meet commitments under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement on climate change. The bank has undertaken a number of steps in the review period to enhance its environmental and sustainability impact. These include merging its lending under the Asian Development Fund with ordinary operations to provide more assistance; issuing green bonds in 2016 and 2017; and increasing financing of climate mitigation and adaptation projects. To download the report, visit the ADB website.      

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