Industrial Development Board of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO -IDB)

Executive Summary

1. Introduction: Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) pursues the effective integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and therefore directly contributes to the achievement of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda principle that “no one will be left behind”. SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure reiterates the relevance of ISID, the Lima Declaration and UNIDO’s mandate for the new global architecture.

2. Within the pursuit of ISID, UNIDO has developed areas of expertise and a portfolio of concrete activities that contribute to promoting quality education (SDG 4), creating green and decent jobs (SDG 8), advancing low-emission climate-resilient development of industries (SDG 13) as well as reducing inequalities through poverty alleviation (SDG 10). This input to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2019 by the Industrial Development Board has therefore been designed with a focus on SDGs 4, 8, 10 and 13 through an ISID-perspective.

3. Assessment of the situation regarding the principle of “ensuring that no one is left behind”: Industrial development is a vehicle for poverty reduction through the generation of income-earning opportunities for the poor. Manufacturing jobs provide greater opportunities for skill upgrading and offer higher employment security and benefits, particularly for women and young people, and hence play an important role in achieving SDG targets on quality technical vocational education (SDG 4), economic productivity and decent work (SDG 8) and the reduction of inequalities (SDG 10).

4. Identification of progress, gaps, areas requiring urgent attention, risks and challenges: Although industry is a key generator of viable solutions to global development challenges, these solutions are not being adapted, scaled-up and deployed at the pace that would ensure world-wide achievement of SDGs. Industry will still need to undertake significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions of 65-90 per cent by 2050 compared to the 2010 baseline. This will only be possible through an unprecedented transformation of industrial systems and new industrial development pathways.

5. An increasing number of successful examples of sustainable industrial development can now be found in developing and developed countries. These urgently need to be scaled-up and replicated within and across countries and regions. GHG emission reductions from industry can be achieved through energy, emissions and material efficiency, and reduced product demand. Progress in these areas contributes to achieving SDG 13 and is strongly interlinked with aspects of quality education (SDG 4), decent work (SDG 8) and reduced inequalities (SDG 10).

6. Valuable successful experiences and lessons learned: Improved access to clean and innovative technologies, particularly in developing countries, significantly contributes to promoting ISID thereby facilitating the achievement of SDGs 4, 8, 10 and 13. Multi-stakeholder collaboration and private sector engagement are key for enabling a shift towards low-emission climate-resilient industrial development that leaves no one behind. UNIDO has been effectively supporting Member States from developing countries to implement ISID projects in close collaboration with local businesses and through the Global Partnership for Action on Green Economy, which focuses on the promotion of decent jobs and social inclusion.

7. Significant advancements towards ISID while fostering quality education (SDG 4), decent jobs (SDG 8), reducing inequalities (SDG 10) and promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment have also been made through the work of the Climate Technology Centre and Network, co-hosted by UNIDO together with UN Environment, the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC) and the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP), both supported by UNIDO.

8. Emerging issues: Adequate and predictable finance from a range of public and private sources is crucial for realizing the global transition to ISID. Governments could de-risk investments to enable wider dissemination and use of clean and innovative technologies that in turn create education opportunities and reduce unemployment. Facilitation of the flow of international finance, through the central government to sub-national governments and non-State actors, is needed to fund green investments.

9. Emerging digital solutions for the energy-water-food nexus enable the development of new business models in the industrial sector while helping increase resilience to the adverse effects of climate change. Digital technologies help enhance resource-efficient production and heighten environmental standards in manufacturing through, for example, mapping of environmental footprints of products. However, digital technologies are also posing risks of leaving people, especially women and persons without adequate skills, behind. Concerted efforts are therefore required to ensure a just and equitable transition of the affected workforce.

10. Political guidance by the HLPF: Coordination at the national level will support the achievement of SDGs 4, 8, 10, 13 and 16 through ISID. The HLPF should encourage Member States to ensure transparency and accountability in this regard. Combined efforts by non-State actors, such as industries, cities and regions, can result in annual GHG emission reductions of around 1.5 to 2.2 GtCO2e by 2030 in addition to mitigation actions implemented through national government policies (Data Driven Yale, NewClimate Institute, PBL 2018). The HLPF should further encourage Member States to integrate ISID principles into their respective nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans in a socially inclusive manner to contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda through the implementation of the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Effective multilateralism and international law, including an effective United Nations Development System, are essential to tackle global and local challenges and to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrialization as a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

11. Policy recommendations: Policy frameworks in both developed and developing countries should be enhanced towards ISID to bend the global GHG emissions curve, increase industry’s resilience to adverse impacts of climate change and ensure the social and economic inclusion of all. For the effective realization of ISID, governments need to pursue policy coherence with regard to industry, education, labour and investment to enable the creation of green jobs and empower the workforce with skills required for taking on these jobs.

12. Support for startups, entrepreneurships and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is needed to catalyze innovation in, and scaling-up of, climate change solutions as well as to enable the just transition of high-emission industrial sectors. Policies at the global, regional, national and local levels need to be gender-responsive and inclusive to ensure equal and equitable participation in decision-making processes and access to social and economic benefits of industrial development. A high-level political commitment of governments on institutional, systemic and individual capacity-building should be sustained to realize sustainable industrial practices in a socially inclusive manner.

United Nations