Support for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

 

Project description

Title: Support for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Chile
Lead executing agency: United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
Overall term: 2016 to 2018

Context

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, or CEPAL in Spanish) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have been working together since 1980 to promote socially and environmentally sustainable economic development in the region. ECLAC acts as a think tank for these countries, analysing and developing policy proposals. In 2003, ECLAC and BMZ formed a strategic partnership, thereby further intensifying their joint activities through cooperation programmes each lasting two years. The measures are implemented by GIZ.

Objective

The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have integrated selected elements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into their national strategies and action plans.

Approach

The current programme of cooperation between ECLAC and BMZ for the period from 2016 to 2018 supports the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The project team is assisting the countries of the region as they integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their national strategies and development plans. The main focus is on the goals relating to environmental sustainability, distributive justice and economic development.

The team supports collaboration between ECLAC and German development cooperation projects. ECLAC benefits from the experience gained in these projects, drawing on lessons learned to improve its own policy proposals and implement its strategies in the region more effectively.

The project team plans and organises high-level policy dialogue events involving Latin America and the Caribbean on the one hand, and the European Union and Germany on the other. The topics addressed include social protection systems, energy efficiency and renewable energies, inclusive industrialisation, gender equality, implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the challenges of climate change.

Results

Social policy. The project advised the governments of Costa Rica and El Salvador on drafting new laws on care, early childhood development, education and social protection, which were adopted in 2014. The governments of El Salvador, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay received support in reforming their social protection systems and in introducing the new systems.

Climate change. Economic growth in the countries of the region is responsible for an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, which is undermining efforts to achieve the climate-related goals. It is becoming ever more urgent to decouple economic activities from emissions to the greatest possible extent.

Emissions in the Dominican Republic are significantly higher than the average for Central America and the Caribbean. The project has successfully advised the country on establishing its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to climate change mitigation. As part of this process, the project developed an econometric model for simulating the projected greenhouse gas emissions resulting from varying rates of economic growth and decoupling. This tool has made it possible to critically compare different development scenarios. On this basis the Dominican Republic was able to formulate its Intended National Contribution – a 25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 from the 2010 level – and to present this at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Energy efficiency. Economic growth must go hand in hand with energy efficiency. Statistical data and sound indicators are needed in order to properly evaluate the impact of policies promoting energy efficiency. As part of the cooperation programme, an extensive database has been developed with indicators for measuring energy efficiency. The 19 countries participating to date received training for the collection, processing and analysis of data, and in the application of the indicators. Using the data collected, and with the support of the cooperation partners, Uruguay and Ecuador have developed national energy efficiency plans. The World Bank has also welcomed the establishment of the database.

Environmental fiscal policy. The Government of Ecuador was advised on introducing a new vehicles tax based on CO2 emissions and on setting up a levy system for disposable plastic bottles[Rev.1] . In Colombia, government representatives have received support in analysing and designing effective instruments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Based on this evaluation, a CO2 tax was developed, which came into force in January 2017.

Value chains. Developing sustainable value chains requires technological innovation. In Mexico, the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) received advice on drafting new legislation to create tax incentives with a view to encouraging more investment in research and development by private companies. The proposed legislation for a corporate tax rebate worth 30 per cent of the cost of investments in technical innovations was passed into law by the Mexican Senate in October 2016. Within ten months, CONACYT had recorded additional investments in research and development amounting to 36 million US dollars.

Ecuador received support in the development of six proposals for structural reforms. These build on the potentials of promising domestic value chains, for instance in cocoa production, marine aquaculture, pharmaceuticals, software development and tourism.

Gender equality. In several countries of the region significant advances have been made in terms of gender equality. This has gained currency as an issue, entering the mainstream, both within the general population and among political and business decision-makers. An interministerial network on the economic empowerment of women has been set up in Costa Rica, while Panama and Peru have both adopted national agreements on the promotion of women's economic autonomy.