New finance agreement sets stage for global sustainable development agenda

Posted on July, 16 2015

Success to be determined by mobilization toward action and implementation
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Governments agreed today on a new global financing framework that integrates the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, environmental protection and social inclusion. The agreement came at the closing meeting of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.

The agreement, dubbed the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, brings countries closer to breaking the link between economic growth and environmental degradation by providing a comprehensive framework for all resources, financial and policy measures required to deliver an integrated sustainable development agenda in the coming 15 years.

“The Addis Ababa Action Agenda is a significant achievement toward financing a sustainable development agenda in a holistic manner, one that recognizes the connection between economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection,” said Céline Beaulieu, WWF’s Head of Delegation at the conference. “This is an important step forward in securing the resources needed to eradicate poverty and help countries develop sustainably. Ultimately, success will be determined by mobilization by all toward action and implementation.”

The agreement aims to mobilize national governments, businesses, philanthropists and development partners to finance a critical sustainable development agenda. It calls for greater transparency and accountability, policy coherence, partnership building and the need for innovation. Importantly, the agreement covers many issues beyond traditional official development assistance. Traditional aid needs to be matched with other funding streams to confront global challenges and make progress in all countries.

“The economic and environmental hurdles before us are unprecedented in terms of their complexity and severity. More than ever, we need a coalition of the willing to embrace fully the Sustainable Development Goals, which also requires sufficient finance and strong political will to make necessary reforms quickly,” said Beaulieu.

Despite progress, challenges remain in advancing a universal agenda on finance. As governments continue to confront issues related to sustainable development and climate change, it is critical that all finance for development and climate be delivered transparently and respect human rights, as well as prioritize low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally-sound development solutions.

“We can’t eradicate poverty and achieve a prosperous future for all without addressing climate change, biodiversity loss and the rapid degradation of natural resources on land and in the ocean,” said Beaulieu.

The agreement did not include bold language on core issues such as a stronger commitment to official development assistance as well as the removal of environmentally harmful subsidies in sectors such as fossil fuels, transport, fisheries and agriculture.

Eliminating harmful subsidies is seen as essential to freeing up financial resources for re-allocation to sustainable development solutions such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and protection of ecosystems.

The financing meeting is the first of three major conferences this year that will determine our planet’s future. Today’s agreement helps pave the way for implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in late September and a conference to agree a new climate deal in December in Paris.
Agreement at UN financing conference gives hope for a new sustainable development agenda
© Edward Parker / WWF