Dubai, December 8, 2023: On the Energy thematic day at COP28, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) launched two policy briefs on Green Budgeting and Internationalizing Lifestyles for Sustainable Development at its event on ‘Just Energy Transitions and SDGs: Tools and Enablers’ at COP28. The event was organized in collaboration with TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS), Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), and the Center for International Climate Research (CICERO). The discussions focused on tools to achieve sustainable energy transitions as outlined in the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI, opened the session and emphasised that as countries enter a phase of strenuous negotiations at COP28, it is pertinent to focus on achieving inclusive transitions and move climate finance commitments from billions to trillions. At COP28, so far, we have not seen the needle move from billions to trillions. “We need development models that are built around sustainable development, just transition, circularity, and inclusivity. This means more climate finance for developing countries”, she added.
Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri, Former Diplomat and Distinguished Fellow, TERI, chaired the session and set the tone of the discussions by highlighting the complexity around defining just transitions and the need for it to be equitable and affordable. The other key speakers for the ‘High Level Segment’ included Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, International Solar Alliance (ISA), Mr Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Mr Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director, Institute for Essential Services Reform.
Dr Mathur remarked on the need for local ownership and investment in people at the ground level to achieve just transitions. Mr Subramaniam emphasized on just transition finance which needs to work in parallel to climate finance and address the socioeconomic challenges related to the climate transition. “Financial institutions have total assets of USD 486.6 trillion in 2021 and mere 1.4% of this amount could close the SDG financing gap of USD 7 trillion”, he added. Mr Tumiwa, spoke on Indonesia’s experience with energy transitions and argued that to implement JETP, it needed additional elements such as clean technology; investment capital at reasonable cost; and partnerships with other countries on technology and investment practices.
It was followed by the launch of Act4Earth policy briefs on – ‘Advancing Environmental and Climate Goals Through a Multidimensional Model of Green Budgeting’ and ‘Internationalizing Lifestyles for Sustainable Development’. On Green Budgeting, Dr Shailly Kedia, Senior Fellow, TERI, emphasised a multidimensional model of green budgeting to contribute to climate and green transitions planning, resource allocation, and implementation. Green budgeting is a self-assessment tool which has the potential to not just mobilize public finance for climate and sustainability actions but also identify gaps. This will then help in designing programmes that can be based in international climate finance mechanisms including those announced at COP28.
On Internationalizing Lifestyles, Dr Kedia highlighted one of the major achievements of the India’s G20 Presidency is internationalizing sustainable lifestyles through the outcome document- G20 High Level Principles on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development. India’s Prime Minister also announced the green credit programme at COP28 under its LiFE initiative. India can further internationalize G20 High Level Principles on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development by advocating for an agenda item at COP on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development to realize the goals set under Article 2 of the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC. In addition, India can also sponsor a resolution on sustainable lifestyles at the United Nations General Assembly.
The ‘technical segment’ of the session deliberated on innovative tools and enablers for achieving just energy transitions and its interlinkage with sustainable development goals. The speakers for the session included Dr Shailly Kedia, Senior Fellow, TERI; Dr Solveig Aamodt, Senior Researcher, CICERO; Dr Gopal Sarangi, Associate Professor, TERI SAS; Ms Bhavya Batra, PhD Candidate, TERI SAS; and Ms Kate Logan, Associate Director, Asia Society Policy Institute.
Act4Earth is a knowledge initiative launched by TERI at the 21st Edition of the World Sustainable Development Summit. Act4Earth and has two components: SDG Charter and COP28 Compass. The objective of the initiative is to strengthen the interface between climate action and SDG interface through policy solutions and normative directions.
All Act4Earth Policy Briefs can be accessed from below hyperlinked titles.