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Publikationen des German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
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Trouble at the UN: Western member states push back against Chinese-led FAO

Mon, 01/08/2022 - 11:31

If asked in which international arena the great power conflict over global order has become most salient in recent years, most would probably point to the United Nations Human Rights Council or the Security Council. In contrast, the U.N.’s development cooperation has so far been spared diplomatic conflicts of similar intensity. But as China has become more articulate about “building international relations of a new type” which will be less dominated by Western powers and norms and give greater voice to developing states, tensions are rising in this field too. It was a major success for China when in 2019 a Chinese candidate, Qu Dongyu, was elected director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Three years into Qu’s tenure, a worrisome, multi-pronged diplomatic brawl has erupted between FAO leadership and Western members, highlighting the challenging path for China toward a new type of international relations.

Civil society participation in urban governance in Africa: supporting CSOs’ political voice for a transformation of citizen–state relations

Tue, 26/07/2022 - 13:48

Urbanisation offers great potential for Africa’s economic and social development: citizens earn twice as much in large cities compared to rural areas, and young urbanites receive on average between 2.5 and 4 years more education than their rural  counterparts. At the same time, the rapid rise of the urban population is putting a strain on Africa’s cities. While on average, city dwellers have better access to services than their rural counterparts, more than half of all citizens in sub-Saharan  African metropolises live in informal settlements without adequate access to basic infrastructure. Citizens have long demanded participation in urban governance that goes beyond elections in order to voice their concerns. Although participatory  processes have become increasingly evident in many African countries in some cities and neighbourhoods, they are still far from being institutionalised at scale. This policy brief asks why participatory approaches have not been successful thus far and analyses the challenges regarding a political mobilisation of civil society organisations (CSOs), which often face weak and fragmented state institutions. It argues that participatory processes need to be thoroughly embedded in politics in order to move beyond  particularistic gains towards a structural improvement of relations between citizens, CSOs, and local governments.

Constructing ocean and polar governance

Fri, 15/07/2022 - 09:24

The governance of ocean and polar regions is among the most relevant challenges in the combat against global environmental degradation and global inequalities. Ocean and polar regions are climate regulators and very much affected by climate change. They are an important source of nutrition for life in and above the sea. At the same time, they are subject to an increasing number of geopolitical and geo-economic conflicts. Due to the lasting virulence of many security issues, economic conflicts, legal disputes, new technological developments and environmental crises in global marine areas as well as the intricate overlap of sovereign, semi-sovereign and global commons territories, the relevance of ocean and polar governance is bound to rise: as frontiers both in global competitive strategies as well as most fragile eco-systems whose collapse would have catastrophic consequences. This thematic issue sketches important trends in research on ocean and polar governance, and identifies avenues for future research. In this editiorial, we first provide an overview of governance challenges for ocean and polar regions and their relevance for geopolitical and geo-economic conflicts. In a second step, we present the eight contributions that make up the thematic issue by clustering them around three themes: the impact of (re-)territorialisation on governance and the construction of authority, the effectiveness of regimes of ocean and polar governance, and, challenges to norm-creation in ocean governance.

"Zeitenwende": The heat is on!

Wed, 13/07/2022 - 15:49

Europe is facing some heat. Literally – with another heat wave grasping the continent – and figuratively with threats to the global order through Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Profound shifts are happening – with political answers too quick for some, and painfully slow when looking at evidence on the ultimate challenge: human-made climate change and its effects. We have seen indicators for disruptive change in the global order before: terrorism (after 2001), a financial crisis (2008), a global pandemic (since 2020), and, after a long build-up, the drastic effects of a climate crisis coming into focus with numerous extreme weather events. This blog is about the future of globalisation, in times of uncertainties and while we find ourselves with multiple challenges in a volatile, if not “reeling global order”. Let’s get to the fundamental then.

Ökologische Strukturpolitik: ein starker Profilbaustein für die deutsche Entwicklungszusammenarbeit

Wed, 13/07/2022 - 08:54

Die Weltwirtschaft steuert in Richtung ökologischer Nachhaltigkeit. Aufgrund einer immer stringenteren umwelt- und klimapolitischen Regulierung setzen sich neue nachhaltige Techno­logien und Geschäftsmodelle durch. Diese wiederum verändern Wettbewerbs­bedingungen und Standortvorteile. Kluge Strukturpolitik antizipiert solche Veränderungen; sie lenkt und fördert die heimische Wirtschaft dahingehend, dass sie frühzeitig die Chancen dieses Strukturwandels nutzt. Das gilt auch für die Wirtschafts- und Beschäftigungsförderung in der Entwicklungs­zusammenarbeit. Mit einer Fokussierung auf ökologische Strukturpolitik als Entwicklungsmotor könnte die deutsche Entwicklungszusammenarbeit ihr in Teilbereichen – z. B. Förderung erneuerbarer Energien, Ökostandards in Lieferketten – bereits angelegtes besonderes Profil weiter ausbauen. Im vorliegenden Impulspapier schlagen wir sieben Themen vor, die in Zukunft ein stärkeres Gewicht bekommen sollten. Diese reichen von der Gestaltung wirtschafts­politischer Rahmenbedingungen (z. B. öko-sozialer Fiskalreformen) bis hin zur Nutzung spezi­fischer neuer Marktpotenziale in Bereichen wie nachhaltiger Stadtentwicklung, Bio­ökonomie und grünem Wasserstoff. Allen Themen ist gemeinsam, dass hier ein beschäftigungswirksamer Struktur­wandel sowie klima- und umweltpolitische Ziele synergetisch miteinander verknüpft werden.

Interview mit Anna-Katharina Hornidge: „Demokratische Staaten führen nicht Krieg gegeneinander“

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 14:46

Der russische Angriffskrieg auf die Ukraine zeigt, dass das multilaterale System zu schwach ist, um Frieden sicherzustellen. In diesem Interview beurteilt Anna-Katharina Hornidge die Lage. Sie ist die Direktorin des Deutschen Instituts für Entwicklung und Nachhaltigkeit (IDOS – German Institute of Development and Sustainability), das bis Ende Juni Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik hieß. Aus ihrer Sicht stehen wir in einem globalen Konflikt, bei dem irrationale Ansprüche rationale Entscheidungsprozesse behindern. Anna-Katharina Hornidge im Interview mit Hans Dembowski.

Assessing the effectiveness of orchestrated climate action from five years of summits

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 09:55

Action-oriented summits like the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit and 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, have become a major feature of global climate governance. Their emphasis on cooperative initiatives by a host of non-state and local actors creates high expectations, especially when, according to the IPCC, governments’ policies still set the world on course for a disastrous 2.7 °C warming. While earlier studies have cautioned against undue optimism, empirical evidence on summits and their ability to leverage transnational capacities has been scarce. Here using a dataset of 276 climate initiatives we show important differences in output performance, with no improvement among initiatives associated with more recent summits. A summit’s focus on certain themes and an emphasis on minimal requirements for institutional robustness, however, can positively influence the effectiveness of transnational engagement. These results make an empirical contribution towards understanding the increasingly transnational nature of climate governance.

Sustainable Development Goals: Schon Geschichte oder dabei, Geschichte zu schreiben?

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 07:28

Nur wenige internationale Übereinkünfte, die von den jeweiligen Zeitgenossen als historisch wahrgenommen werden, sind dies auch in den Augen späterer Generationen. Sie sind stets Produkt und Ausdruck ihrer Zeit, können aber auch über diese hinausweisen, indem sie erwartete und angestrebte Zukünfte verhandeln. Wenn nur wenige Jahre später die Welt schon wieder anders erscheint, versuchen sich dann neu zusammengesetzte Kohorten internationaler Diplomatie am nächsten »historischen« Wurf. Dabei geht allzu leicht das Gefühl für die miteinander verknüpften institutionellen und programmatischen Pfadabhängigkeiten verloren. Ohne das Wissen um bereits früher erzielte Verständigungen und Fortschritte kann aber auch das Bewusstsein für die notwendigen nächsten Schritte schwer gedeihen.

Interview with Anna Katharina Hornidge: "Democratic states do not wage war on one another"

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 07:28

Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine proves that the multilateral system is too weak to safeguard peace. Anna-Katharina Hornidge, the director of the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) – assessed matters in an interview with  D+C/E+Z. According to her, we are witnessing a global conflict in which irrational aspirations are pitted against reasoned deliberation. (Anna-Katharina Hornidge interviewed by Hans Dembowski)

Auf einen Espresso mit… Prof. Dr. Anna-Katarina Hornidge

Tue, 05/07/2022 - 14:58

Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge hatte von 2015 bis 2020 eine Kooperationsprofessur zwischen der Universität Bremen und dem Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT) mit dem Schwerpunkt Entwicklungs- und Wissenssoziologie inne. Seit 2020 ist sie Direktorin des German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) in Bonn und Professorin an der Universität Bonn.

The European Green Deal and the war in Ukraine: addressing crises in the short and long term

Tue, 05/07/2022 - 12:52

In this policy brief, we analyse the direct effects and implications of the war in Ukraine on energy security, industrial supply chains, food security and environmental protection in the EU and in developing countries. Section 2.4 also considers the ramifications of the war on Ukraine’s own environment. We also explore several integrative policy approaches to mitigate these implications, namely policy coherence, social protections measures and international cooperation.
Throughout our analyses, we consider existing and potential policy measures, and in doing so refer to the EGD’s many dimensions. We argue that the EGD is instrumental in setting the EU and its partners on a sustainable path, and key to addressing multiple crises in the short and long term. Moreover, successful implementation of the EGD can help the EU weather the shock of the war, while facilitating sustainable development that leaves no one, and no country, behind.
Key messages:
• The European Green Deal (EGD) is instrumental in addressing some of the implications of the war in Ukraine. It can facilitate an integrated response that considers the global concerns raised by the concurrent geopolitical, health and socio-environmental crises, in both the short term and the long term. The war’s effects on food security, energy security, industrial supply chains and environmental protection should be addressed with due attention to immediate threats, and with a view to speeding up the nascent sustainability transformation in order to avoid exacerbating future disruptions. To achieve this, three approaches are essential: enabling policy coherence between sectors and institutions, designing adequate social protection measures, and advancing international cooperation.
• To simultaneously address energy security and the climate crisis, the energy transition should be accelerated worldwide. Domestically, the EU can ratchet up production of renewable energies, phase-out fossil fuels (including liquefied natural gas (LNG)), and make energy efficiency improvements across all sectors and industries. The EU should avoid response measures that create lock-ins to pathways that are incompatible with the green transition. In parallel, the EU has the capacity to build strong international partnerships to assist other interested countries in their own energy transitions and support them to become key trading partners of renewable energy sources.
• Global supply chains, particularly industrial supply chains, have been disrupted by the war and related sanctions. Ukraine, Russia and Belarus supply much of the world’s key raw materials, such as neon, nickel, aluminium and palladium, and crucial goods, such as iron-derived products and fertilisers. The energy price spike and inaccessible transportation routes have further exacerbated the disruptions. As companies relocate their production and seek new suppliers, the EU should aim to incentivise low-carbon options, boost innovation and material efficiency, and support developing countries in building their own green industries.
• Food security has also been adversely affected by disrupted supply chains. In particular, developing countries reliant on food imports face serious challenges due to record high prices. The EU has already put measures in place to support short-term food security, both domestically and beyond. To mitigate future crises, it should develop long-term measures to transition the EU food system towards sustainability and support the development of resilient food systems in developing countries.
• The war in Ukraine poses a serious threat to global environmental governance, particularly with regard to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. The war will likely influence supply chain-driven deforestation and ecosystem degradation, in part due to increasing food insecurity. The EU can support effective and smart agriculture to minimise or avoid land conversion for food or energy production, both domestically and in developing countries. In addition, the EU can play an active role in assisting Ukraine in its ever-more precarious environmental situation, and to support neighbouring countries like Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary that may suffer from trans-boundary pollution.
• The war in Ukraine has exposed the urgent need for effective coordination and coherence between EU policy frameworks. To implement the EGD, internal and external trade-offs between core issue areas, such as food and environmental protection or energy and industrial supply chains, and between short-term and long-term effects, need to be minimised. Simultaneously, synergies need to be enhanced. Currently, however, the content and implementation of the EGD still follows a sectoral and siloed approach that contradicts the EU’s policy coherence ambitions. More than ever, the realisation of the EGD’s objectives requires an integrated approach to facilitate efficient alignment with long-term global agendas, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.
• In the short term, social protection can help vulnerable households cope with increases in food and energy prices, through mechanisms like cash transfers, in-kind transfers and subsidies. To promote longer-term resilience, social protection can support the just transition and independence of energy and food systems by way of facilitating structural changes, for example, in terms of employment. This will require increased spending on social protection systems anchored in equity concerns.
• With regards to its international cooperation, the EU still needs to define the goals it seeks to attain under the external dimension of the EGD. These will need to be translated into concrete actions in close dialogue with the EU’s partner countries. Moreover, international cooperation must be aligned to support long-term strategies to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement in a synergistic fashion. This requires a policy space for accountability and learning, through continuous monitoring and evaluation of pertinent international cooperation activities and partnerships. The EU also has the important role of building trust between partner countries and demonstrating international leadership in the face of Russia’s geo-political belligerence.

Editorial: Constructing ocean and polar governance

Mon, 04/07/2022 - 14:32

The governance of ocean and polar regions is among the most relevant challenges in the combat against global environmental degradation and global inequalities. Ocean and polar regions are climate regulators and very much affected by climate change. They are an important source of nutrition for life in and above the sea. At the same time, they are subject to an increasing number of geopolitical and geo-economic conflicts. Due to the lasting virulence of many security issues, economic conflicts, legal disputes, new technological developments and environmental crises in global marine areas as well as the intricate overlap of sovereign, semi-sovereign and global commons territories, the relevance of ocean and polar governance is bound to rise: as frontiers both in global competitive strategies as well as most fragile eco-systems whose collapse would have catastrophic consequences. This thematic issue sketches important trends in research on ocean and polar governance, and identifies avenues for future research. In this editiorial, we first provide an overview of governance challenges for ocean and polar regions and their relevance for geopolitical and geo-economic conflicts. In a second step, we present the eight contributions that make up the thematic issue by clustering them around three themes: the impact of (re-)territorialisation on governance and the construction of authority, the effectiveness of regimes of ocean and polar governance, and, challenges to norm-creation in ocean governance.

Governability of regional challenges: the Arctic development paradox

Mon, 04/07/2022 - 13:15

The advancement of governance architecture in the Arctic region and dealing with the “Arctic development paradox” have been among the most significant challenges of the circumpolar North for decades. The common denominator of both issues is the growing necessity to frame solutions that credibly and effectively support the Arctic’s social and environmental systems in the face of climate change and globalisation. The current status quo seems deficient, which is why understanding the main impediments is subject to public and academic discussion. This article contributes to these debates by referring to the concept of governability to demonstrate how transregional activities advance the development of more coherent governance in the Arctic. The article explores approaches applied by transregional organisations and cooperation programmes that constitute the governance system in the European Arctic. Specifically, it scrutinises governing interactions developed by the Barents Regional Council and the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme to overcome the normative trap of the Arctic development paradox. This research follows a semi‐structured, exploratory approach, which facilitates identifying key elements of a structurally and conceptually led response that resounds in each case. Combined with a synoptic literature review, this article answers two questions: First, how do the transregional actors approach the Arctic development paradox in their cooperation strategies and programmes, and to what extent do these approaches differ? Second, what kind of recommendations do they provide to overcome the Arctic development paradox?

BRT Transjakarta: phasing in, performing and expanding a new system within a consolidated urban area: Report for the “Inclusive and sustainable smart cities in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” Project

Mon, 04/07/2022 - 10:32

Bus rapid transit (BRT), an innovative transit solution from the Global South, represents a more affordable and easier to implement mass transit mode in comparison to railway systems. Despite these advantages, many cities struggle to implement BRT due to different challenges from the need of an institutional framework and financing to the managing of competing transport modes and public opposition from car users and informal bus operators, as well as the design of BRT components (e.g. the quality of the infrastructure, vehicles and service). When these challenges are not solved, already implemented BRT systems struggle to successfully perform and expand their network to increase the service coverage. This paper studies the case of Jakarta’s BRT, which has become the largest BRT network in the world and reaches 82% of the city’s population. This study shows how Transjakarta has been able to face the different challenges for the phasing-in, good performance and expansion of its network, and presents lessons for the future of BRT within an integrated transit network that includes other mass transit modes, as well as formerly informal feeder services.

Urban rail implementation in emerging economies: an opportunity for industrial development and technological learning?

Mon, 04/07/2022 - 10:29

The socio-economic well-being of urban areas depends on a well-functioning transportation system that makes it easier for people to access goods and services. Most urban areas in emerging economies are expanding in size and human population, resulting in increased demand for transportation and mobility. But these urban areas are characterised by high motorisation and inadequate public transportation resulting in traffic congestion, accidents and increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Urban rail (metro, tram, suburban) can be the solution because trains can move a large number of people at high speed at short intervals, provide reliable services because of its spatial isolation, contribute minimal GHGs when the source of energy is renewable, and has a low accident rate. However, urban rail is expensive and require many technical and technological capabilities often unavailable in emerging economies because they are technological latecomers. This paper examines how two emerging economies, China and India, have been developing local capabilities through an industrial policy to ensure increased urban rail development.

Addressing human mobility in national climate policy: insights from updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in South America

Tue, 21/06/2022 - 09:08

Whereas South American countries are experiencing increased population movements in the context of climate change, the international climate governance agenda calls for the adoption of specialised legislation and for enhanced cooperation among different policy frameworks. The revision and update of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) provide a window of opportunity to mainstream human mobility discussions in climate policy frameworks and, thus, support the uptake of effective measures to address the topic.
This briefing paper provides an overview of how the climate change–human mobility nexus has been addressed in the NDCs submitted thus far by South American countries and identifies pathways towards improved management of population movements in revised NDCs. To date, a partial integration of the human mobility perspective prevails: References to the topic indicate a slow – but progressive – acknowledgment of the impacts of a changing climate in vulnerable communities, which may include human displacement. Given the urgent need to move forward from the recognition of the topic to the establishment of effective measures to tackle forced population movements associated with the impacts of climate change, the updating of NDCs – currently under way in the region – entails an opportunity to incorporate strategies aimed at enhancing the management of human mobility. Ongoing discussions linked to the inclusion of the human mobility dimension should happen in a holistic manner, taking socio-environmental approaches into consideration. Human displacement and adaptation to climate change are akin processes that need to be aligned with mitigation and related measures. An improved adaptation component of NDCs depends on the participation of distinct actors (such as national departments and agencies, as well as non-governmental and civil society organisations focussed on climate adaptation) at the national level, and not only those dealing with mitigation strategies. Likewise, it should take the incorporation of practical and evidence-based measures into account. These include, for instance, methods to promote the consultation and effective participation of affected communities and strategies to strengthen their resilience. Furthermore, revised NDCs should call for governance and legal frameworks that include a clear definition of roles and the establishment of effective measures, rooted in the commitment to protect the human rights of affected and vulnerable populations. Revised NDCs should set up policy options to prepare for and respond to human displacement, aiming to reduce communities’ vulnerability and exposure. The recognition of human mobility in the context of climate change as a common challenge faced by South American countries entails a window of opportunity to enhance the development of effective measures to address the topic, as well as to foster the implementation of coherent long-term strategies that go beyond short-term political priorities.

Germany and the UK: perspectives for deepening the bilateral dialogue on development policy

Tue, 21/06/2022 - 08:48

Germany and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) are the second- and fourth-largest providers of official development assistance (ODA) worldwide and are key actors in driving international policy discussions on global development in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the G7, the G20 and other key groupings and platforms.
The development policies of both countries witnessed important convergence and detailed cooperation during the first decade of this millennium – a period when Western countries understood development cooperation as a source of considerable soft power, which was demonstrated in rising budgets and like-minded policy directions.
The austerity policies that followed the global economic and financial crisis, and the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016, have challenged the bilateral relationship in the development policy area between Germany and the UK. The UK’s departure from the EU has reduced the number of joint interactions and corresponding opportunities for identifying cooperation initiatives.
Halfway through the period envisaged for the completion of the 2030 Agenda, both countries are adjusting their development policies, seeking to determine their future European roles and global development ambitions, but they remain key partners in global development. Both the UK and Germany have recently revised or are in the process of preparing development policy strategies as part of their integrated foreign policies – a reflection process which in recent months has been challenged to adjust to the implications of the war in Ukraine. The case remains strong for regular exchanges and cooperation on development policy between both countries, including by intensifying dialogues and resuming formal secondments between the FCDO and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Two areas in particular offer good prospects.
First of all, the UK and Germany should closely work together to deliver on the current G7 Presidency agenda – including the key focus on infrastructure investment, as initiated during last year’s UK Presidency. Other key opportunities for cooperation include gender and climate action, as well as the provision of global public goods.
Secondly, Germany and the UK should seek to engage in and harness the role of the OECD as a provider of key standards for international development policy and as an important forum for peer learning. As key providers of global development finance, the legitimacy of its reporting system is essential to both countries’ influence and contribution to global development.

Challenging the imperial mode of living by challenging ELSEWHERE: Spatial narratives and justice

Mon, 20/06/2022 - 15:25

This article frames imperial lifestyles as a problem of global justice and discusses the spatial logic that engenders the actual discrepancy between this moral standard of equal rights and reality. It claims that the notion of ELSEWHERE, as Brand and Wissen (2022) put it, plays a central role in understanding the conditions that allow this grossly unjust global separation between responsibility and effect to be stable. In doing this, it establishes the concept of communities of justice that determine the boundaries of moral responsibility and analyses the global spatial logic that underlies the course of these boundaries, as they are experienced in everyday life. The Westphalian system of sovereign nation states is its main component but certainly not the only one. Finally, it sheds light on current attempts to challenge this spatial logic as well as their potentials and limitations.

Globale Nachhaltigkeit im Blick behalten

Mon, 20/06/2022 - 09:48

Bonn, 20.06.2022. Die Bundesregierung startete Anfang 2022 mit einer ambitionierten Nachhaltigkeitsagenda in ihre G7-Präsidentschaft. Keine zwei Monate später sah sie sich einem russischen Angriffskrieg gegen die Ukraine gegenüber, der neue Prioritäten erforderlich macht und alte Gewissheiten in Frage stellt. Bundeskanzler Scholz hat deutlich gemacht, dass der russische Angriff eine Zeitenwende markiert. Auf dem G7-Gipfel, der vom 26. bis 28. Juni in Elmau stattfindet, wird die Kunst des Politischen darin liegen, kurzfristige Krisen zu lösen, ohne die langfristigen Herausforderungen aus dem Blick zu verlieren.

Während die Vereinten Nationen in ihrer Reaktion auf den russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine gespalten sind und die G20, mit Russland als Mitglied, mehr oder weniger paralysiert ist, präsentiert sich die G7 aktuell als eines der wenigen handlungsfähigen internationalen Foren. Die G7-Staaten haben nicht nur wirtschaftliche Sanktionen gegen Russland auf den Weg gebracht, sondern auch Finanz- und Unterstützungspakete für die Ukraine und deren Nachbarstaaten geschnürt. Die Entwicklungsminister*innen der G7 haben eine Globale Allianz für Ernährungssicherheit gegründet, welche die negativen Folgen des russischen Kriegs gegen die Ukraine abfedern soll.

So wichtig diese unmittelbaren Reaktionen der G7 auf den Krieg in der Ukraine sind, stellt sich vor allem die Frage, welche Antworten der Gipfel in Elmau auf die mittel- bis langfristigen Herausforderungen finden wird. Der Fokus soll im Folgenden auf der nachhaltigen wirtschaftlichen Erholung und der klimapolitischen Transformation liegen.

Für das Erreichen der globalen Nachhaltigkeitsziele zum Ende der Dekade ist es notwendig, einer „two-track recovery“ entgegen zu wirken, durch die Entwicklungsländer ins Hintertreffen geraten. Infolge der Covid-19-Pandemie waren die fiskalischen Spielräume vieler Entwicklungsländer bereits stark eingeschränkt. Es fällt ihnen daher schwer den sozio-ökonomischen Folgen der Pandemie zu begegnen und ihre Volkswirtschaften langfristig klimaneutral und -resilient umzubauen. Die Zahl der Länder, die vor Verschuldungsnotlagen stehen, hat sich seit 2015 verdoppelt. Die Folgen des Kriegs in der Ukraine und die Zinsanhebungen in den USA und der EU drohen diese Entwicklungen noch zu verschärfen. Zudem werden internationale Investoren die steigenden Klimarisiken in vielen Entwicklungsländern einpreisen, was deren Zugang zu internationalen Finanzmärkten weiter erschwert.

Die G7-Finanzminister*innen haben bisher nur auf das „Gemeinsame Rahmenwerk“ der G20 verwiesen, das helfen soll Schulden umzustrukturieren oder sogar zu erlassen. Eigene Initiativen der G7 zur Entschuldung von Entwicklungsländern sind bisher Mangelwahre. Der Verweis, dass auch China zur Entschuldung beitragen muss, ist richtig, aber nicht zielführend. Vielmehr sollten private Schuldner, die vor allem in den G7-Ländern ansässig sind, stärker in die Pflicht genommen werden. Zudem ist es geboten, Schuldenerlasse stärker an ökologisch-sozialen Transformationsprozessen oder Anpassungsmaßnahmen in vom Klimawandel bedrohten Ländern auszurichten.

Den Markenkern der im Januar vorgestellten Agenda der deutschen G7-Präsidentschaft bildete die klimapolitische Transformation. Auf ihrem Treffen Ende Mai haben die Klima-, Energie- und Umweltminister*innen der G7 sich darauf verständigt, eine überwiegend dekarbonisierte Stromversorgung bis zum Jahr 2035 zu erreichen und aus der Kohleverstromung auszusteigen, ohne sich bei letzterer aber auf ein konkretes Enddatum zu einigen. Von Bedeutung ist auch die Einsicht, dass es nicht ausreicht, die Klimakrise zu lösen, sondern dass im Rahmen eines integrativen Vorgehens auch die globale Biodiversitäts- und Verschmutzungskrise angegangen werden muss.

Im Bereich der internationalen Klimafinanzierung blieben die Finanzminister*innen bisher vage. Im Kommuniqué ihres Treffens im Mai findet sich nur der Satz, dass sie erwarten, das Ziel, jährlich 100 Milliarden US-Dollar zur Verfügung zu stellen, bis 2023 zu erfüllen. Mit Blick auf die zentralen Instrumente der G7 zur Förderung der klimapolitischen Transformation, vor allem eines offenen und kooperativen Klimaclubs und der „Just Energy Transition Partnerships“ mit ausgewählten Ländern, finden sich bisher auch nur Ankündigungen, aber noch wenig Konkretes.

Auf Ebene der Fachminister*innen wurden also wichtige Initiativen auf den Weg gebracht, trotz der notwendigen Reaktionen auf den Krieg in der Ukraine. Der Gipfel der Staats- und Regierungschefs in Elmau muss aber in zentralen Bereichen, wie der Klimapolitik oder mit Blick auf die Verschuldungskrise, konkrete Beschlüsse liefern, damit die G7-Präsidentschaft Deutschlands tatsächlich zur Erreichung der globalen Nachhaltigkeitsziele bis 2030 beiträgt.

Wichtig ist auch die multilaterale Einbettung der Initiativen der G7. Es ist daher gut, dass mit Indien, Indonesien, Südafrika und Argentinien wichtige G20-Mitglieder nach Elmau eingeladen sind und mit Senegal die aktuelle Präsidentschaft der Afrikanischen Union mit am Tisch sitzt. Mit diesen Ländern gilt es, konkrete Beschlüsse zu fassen, die dann in anderen, inklusiver zusammengesetzten Foren wie der G20 eingebracht werden können. Nur gemeinsam mit internationalen Partnern wird die G7 handlungsfähig sein.  

Is foreign direct investment losing clout in development?

Tue, 14/06/2022 - 11:23

Over the last decade, only a single projection of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows by the United Nations influential “World Investment Report” has proposed a negative outlook in the medium term. Based partly on surveys of business executives, these forecasts reflect ex¬pecta¬tions of investment growth which, however, have repeated¬ly failed to materialise. In fact, FDI flows to develop¬ing countries have remained stagnant over the past decade.
Such wishful thinking is nurtured by a long series of positive narratives and facts about foreign investment. FDI has been one of the pillars of international development efforts for over 70 years. Its promise has not been limited to critical finance, but extends to longer term competitiveness through access to better technology, managerial know-how and, above all, prosperity through more and better paid jobs in the formal sector. From the old prescriptions of the so-called Washington Consensus to the hopeful Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the dominant development narrative has therefore favoured a rather indiscriminate pursuit of investment volume.
This brief calls for rethinking of narratives and policies that help to improve the impact of FDI, based on secular trends that challenge our expectations. Four such trends stand out:
First, while other sources of finance for development have grown considerably over the last decades, foreign invest¬ment has not followed the trend. Second, the kind of investment that is associated with stronger gains and longer term commitment in host economies – greenfield FDI – has also been in consistent decline as a share of total invest¬ment, while mergers and acquisitions and project finance have gained in importance. Third, the top 100 multinational enterprises (MNEs), accounting for nearly a quarter of global FDI stock, rely less on employment today than they used to in order to grow their foreign presence. Job creation, knowledge transfer and spillovers are therefore less likely to materialise through the presence of mega-firms and their corresponding investment at scale. Fourth, the growth of Chinese outward FDI within a strategic expan¬sionary political agenda stands to change rules and attitudes towards foreign investment moving forwards.
We argue that, collectively, these trends invite a renewed conversation around the kind of foreign investment we want and expectations of this source of finance for develop¬ment. These facts obscure neither the broad benefits of FDI to developing countries, nor the value proposition of FDI attraction. Rather, they raise questions about expectations, priorities and the alignment of investment policy with the realities experienced across develop¬ing countries.
To that end, we propose four priorities that stand to make a difference in the current context. We call for policy-makers to:
1) Place additional emphasis on retention of investment and linkages with the domestic economy.
2) Try new approaches for FDI attraction that focus on improving domestic investment facilitation frameworks.
3) Be selective as to investment sources and activities in order to mitigate political risks and align inward investment better with sustainable development.
4) Add evidence to improve our understanding of invest¬ment and inform decision-making.
Overall, it is critical to engage in a serious multi-stakeholder conversation around expectations, actors and solutions that respond to the investment reality of today.

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