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UNIDO workshop on “Leveraging Global Value Chains for Industrial Development”

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photo: UNIDO

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Cambodian Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH), in partnership with the Republic of Korea, successfully organized the second training programme on “Leveraging Global Value Chains for Industrial Development” from 3 to 4 October 2019 at the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA). The workshop aimed at building practical skills backed by data analysis in policymaking and enhancing industrial policy required to support the development of local industries and firms in reaping opportunities offered by global value chains. Participants included 40 technical officials from various ministries, the private sector, and development partners.

“To contribute in propelling Cambodia toward an industrialized country by 2025, to become an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050, I would like to reiterate that His Excellency Kitti Settha Pandita, Senior Minister and Minister of Industry and Handicraft, has always supported and encouraged capacity building activities under the UNIDO project, as human resources is key to achieve this ultimate goal”, said Sarun Rithea, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft at the closing of the workshop.

The capacity building programme is part of a series of four courses on industrial policy and value chains under the UNIDO project “Support to the Royal Government of Cambodia in its effective implementation of a major development strategy and policy through institutional capacity-building”, which is funded by the Republic of Korea (ROK). Key government counterparts are the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH), the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and the Ministry of Tourism (MoT).  

In his introductory remarks, Anders Isaksson, UNIDO Senior Research and Industrial Policy Officer, appreciated the high commitment from the Royal Government of Cambodia in gaining knowledge and experiences on industrial policy and value chains through the latest UNIDO capacity building initiative and apply to own country context. He believes that this training course will contribute to realize Cambodia’s Industrial Development Policy (IDP) vision and help to accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID), which is aligned with the strategic vision of UNIDO.

During the two-day workshop, participants learned about the role of industrialization and global value chains in economic development, the different dimensions of industrialization and Global Value Chains (GVCs) and how to use these frameworks to analyze challenges and opportunities for Cambodia. Participants also learned about data tools and indicators which can be used to evaluate the country’s position within global and regional value chains at the industry level.

The industrial policy project is formulated within the framework of the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) 2018-2023 between the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and UNIDO. A Joint Declaration was signed in November 2017 between LI Yong, UNIDO Director General, and Kitti Setha Pandita Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister of Industry and Handicraft on behalf of the RGC. The PCP is a platform for synchronizing development efforts and for resource mobilization, as well as a supporting tool to increase the impact from Cambodia’s Industrial Development Policy.

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Record number of requests for climate technology transfer

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Demand for the services of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) reached a record high in 2019. The CTCN reported that requests for technology assistance submitted by developing countries increased 240% over the last 12-month period. Taking into account that requests were often submitted jointly by several countries at once, the growth in demand for technology support can be considered even higher. In its 2019 CTCN Progress Report  launched today, the CTCN presents trends in technology demand as countries around the world scale up their climate change efforts.

One such country is the Cook Islands, where like many small island developing states, the government is working to identify the equipment, techniques, practical knowledge and skills needed to implement its Nationally Determined Contribution. The Office of the Prime Minister, together with the CTCN and its partner the UNEP DTU Partnership, are therefore conducting a national Technology Needs Assessment in the Cook Islands to support this effort. Based upon this process, a roadmap for prioritized technologies will guide technology development and transfer activities for strengthened climate resilience and low-carbon development in the 15-island nation.

“The CTCN serves as a global hub for coordinating and delivering the technology expertise, capacity building and knowledge that countries are seeking as they strive to meet their climate change and sustainable development goals. UNIDO proudly supports the Centre in this mission,” stated LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO.

Established by the Conference of Parties, the CTCN connects countries’ technology goals with world-class expertise, providing targeted interventions that help unlock transformational climate change action. The CTCN delivers support across a broad spectrum of technology needs, from identifying technology priorities, conducting feasibility studies and piloting technologies, to building enabling policy and regulatory environments that facilitate upscaling and finance. The Centre has received 240 technology requests from 93 countries.

“To meet this growing demand, we have taken many steps to scale up our support this year. We completed our 100th technical assistance intervention, added our 500th Network member, and through our accredited co-hosts UN Environment Programme and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), submitted our 25th Readiness proposal for consideration by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Other vital new partnerships will be announced at COP25”, noted Rose Mwebaza, CTCN Director.

Fifty-two percent of requests received by the CTCN focus on mitigation, while 27% are adaptation related, with a strong emphasis on agriculture and forestry. Twenty-one percent of requests impact both adaptation and mitigation.

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ADB’s Transport Investments in Pacific Projected at Over $1 Billion for 2017–2020

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The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) transport investments in the Pacific, comprised of 15 projects, is expected to reach over $1 billion during the 2017–2020 period, including $385 million in cofinancing, according to the latest issue of the bank’s Pacific Transport Update launched today.

The Pacific Transport Update 2019 provides an overview of ADB’s technical assistance and lending activities in the Pacific region, specifically to the transport sector. The report highlights ADB’s strong partnerships with governments, communities, and the private sector in boosting the region’s connectivity; improving people’s access to goods, services, and opportunities; and building countries’ climate and economic resilience.

“The report emphasizes ADB’s work in the transport sector, which is supporting its Pacific developing member countries in providing safe, efficient, and reliable transport services that drive equitable socioeconomic growth and sustainable results,” said the Director of ADB’s Transport Sector Division for the Pacific Mr. Dong-Kyu Lee. “Sustainable and reliable transport is key to the growth and development of countries in the Pacific given they face challenges associated with their geographic isolation and limited resources.”

The report enumerates the progress and achievements of ADB’s operations in land, maritime, and air transport in the Pacific, including in policy planning and capacity building. Apart from elaborating on regional transport projects, the report also highlights ongoing ADB-assisted projects in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. Future ADB-supported transport projects and activities are also mentioned.

ADB’s transport operations have increased significantly in the region. Of all the Pacific countries that feature in the report, Papua New Guinea has the largest active portfolio of about $1,266 million in civil aviation, road, port, and border projects. Solomon Islands is also a major beneficiary with $192 million in active portfolio to implement road and other transport sector projects.

The report says ADB’s transport operations in the Pacific support each of the seven corporate priorities of ADB’s long-term corporate strategy, Strategy 2030, which sets out the institution’s broad vision and strategic response to the evolving needs of Asia and the Pacific.

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More Companies and Government Ambition Required to Meet the “Net Zero” Challenge

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Four years after the Paris Climate Agreement, tangible action from governments is falling short of trajectories needed to restrict global warming to 1.5° Celsius. This is well documented in the recently released UN Environment Closing the Gap report. To date, however, a minority of businesses are taking the necessary steps to reduce emissions and of those who are, much more ambition will be required based on the findings of a new report, The Net Zero Challenge, published today by the World Economic Forum.

The report is released as negotiators gather in Madrid at COP25 to discuss the finer details of the Paris Agreement which called for emissions reductions of 3-5% per year. This is a long way off the annual increase in emissions of 1.5% that we are seeing today.

“2020 is a crucial year for delivering on climate action ambition and it is vital that governments and businesses now work together. For both the public and private sector, collaborative action on climate can spur rapid innovation, growth and jobs in a sluggish economic outlook; what the world needs is a combination of public ambition, policy certainty and company leadership to create a tipping point,” said Dominic Waughray, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum.

Governments: from a slow start, climate action ambitions are growing to address the challenge

67 countries have to date stated an ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050. These countries account for c.15% of global GHG emissions. Of these countries, sixteen (accounting for less than 6% of emissions) have developed roadmaps and intermediate targets; and even fewer – seven – countries have instituted policy frameworks that could realistically support reaching a net zero emission goal. These countries – Bhutan, Costa Rica, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands, Suriname, Sweden, – account for just 2% of global GHG emissions.

The report does, however, find signs of progress that some governments are beginning to set ambitious climate targets. For example, Morocco has developed the world’s largest concentrated solar farm with a goal of sourcing 50% of its electricity from renewable sources in just 10 years. India is currently implementing the largest renewable power programme in the world, targeting 175 GW of installed capacity by 2022.

The report, done in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), also finds signs of action at the sub-national level. For example, the state of South Australia is targeting 50% renewable power by 2025. In the United States, meanwhile, seven states are targeting zero-carbon energy systems by 2050.

Overall, the report adds to the evidence that there is much political work to be done to raise ambition levels for climate action ahead of when the Paris Agreement is due to begin in November 2020.

Companies and Climate Action: A New Impetus is Required

When it comes to companies and emissions, the report highlights the gap in corporate ambition that must be closed. While 7,000 businesses disclose their emissions to CDP, a non-profit organization that monitors global emissions, the report finds that only a third provide full disclosure, only a quarter set a specific emissions reduction target and only one in eight are so far reducing their emissions year-on-year.

The report also finds that, on average, both short-term and long-term targets are about half of what are needed for a 1.5°C world; on average, short-term targets currently aim for minus 15% instead of minus 30% reductions; while longer-term targets on average currently aim for 50% reductions instead of net zero by mid-century.

There is, however, some variation across industries. Financial and energy companies, are the most advanced when it comes to disclosing, setting targets and reducing emissions; and emissions reductions in the power sector provide a good case on how other sectors might respond to a mixture of smart policies and demand signals. In each sector there are examples of corporations acting decisively to build a first-mover competitive advantage through higher efficiency, lower risks and new green revenues.

The report identifies two major reasons why corporate climate action has so far not reached a tipping point. One is that chief executive officers still find themselves under greater pressure to deliver short-term returns than to demonstrate progress against climate goals. A plethora of ESG (environmental, societal and corporate governance) guidelines is not helping to create clarity or a clear benchmark to judge performance, leading – in the words of one banking CEO – to “real confusion and little action” in the investment world. The other is the lack of reliable policy frameworks at national and international level. All 25 CEOs interviewed as part of the project confirmed, for example, that without a meaningful price on carbon the transition cannot be accelerated at the speed and scale needed.

A call to action from the World Economic Forum

Whilst diplomatic and multilateral political efforts during 2020 will focus on raising ambition levels among governments, the World Economic Forum will use its platforms to promote a complimentary call to action for higher ambition levels among companies and the finance community and for more partnerships. This call for action, which will start in Davos 2020, includes:

An updated Davos Manifesto for 2020 on the universal purpose of a company, which notes that a company is more than an economic unit generating wealth, will be presented to all CEOs to consider. The Manifesto calls for performance to be measured not only on the return to shareholders but also on how it achieves it environmental, social and good governance objectives.

An initiative underway with the Forum’s International Business Council to develop a definitive methodology for standard ESG principles that companies can adopt as a complement to standard financial metrics with support from the “Big Four” accounting firms, which will include common approaches on climate emissions target setting and tracking

The release of a catalogue of “Lighthouse Projects” that show concrete examples of how many leading companies are setting and implementing bold emissions reduction strategies in line with net zero by mid-century, and how other companies can join or replicate these efforts. Such Lighthouse Projects include the Mission Possible Platform, RE100, the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owners Alliance, the CDSB and over 50 other specific examples of company actions and public-private collaborations in the climate and wider environmental agenda.

To support these efforts, the Forum has also convened a community of CEO Climate Leaders; these are leaders of some of the world’s largest businesses that are committed to support assertive climate action.

“Climate change is the single greatest threat that humanity faces. Businesses that don’t take climate action will be punished by their stakeholders as well as by the planet,” said Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever.

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