Markets working to support sustainable development

In the News: 2nd December 2015

02 Dec 2015

Ecosystem services

The World Forum on Natural Capital took place last week in Edinburgh and there is less than a year until the Natural Capital Coalition launches the Natural Capital Protocol. The Forum brought together business leaders, government representatives and environmental experts to discuss and examine how natural capital can be better measured and managed. A number of businesses are already leading the way in their approach to investing in natural capital.

Can carbon financing promote sustainable smallholder agriculture? IIED and Hivos recently published a series of papers to explore the challenges and opportunities of integrating payments for ecosystems services into smallholder farming in a number of projects in developing countries. Visit the Shaping Sustainable Markets library to find out more.

Inclusive business

G20 leaders have issued a call to action to public and private sector players, international organisations and civil society to advance the ability of businesses round the world to integrate low income people into their value chains. As part of the call to action, the G20 endorsed an Inclusive Business Framework – which includes a set of recommendations on how to enable inclusive business, including the need to establish conducive rules and regulations.


New monitoring and surveillance tools offer hope in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Global Fishing Watch is a new technology platform that uses satellite data to inform the public about overfishing and make global fishing activity more transparent.

US President Barack Obama has signed the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015 into law. The law should increase capacity for inspection, identification and monitoring of illegal foreign vessels, incorporates civil and criminal penalties and broadens data sharing authority with foreign governments in order to identify and penalize nations that don't comply with fisheries management regulations.

Informal economy

The latest statistics from Nigeria’s Employment Creation Survey show that 90% of jobs in Q3 were in in the informal sector – predominantly in rural agricultural activities.  Meanwhile Botswana’s parliament has been urged to enact legislation to protect its informal economy.  

Energy and climate change

New data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that for the first time ever, over the last year, the majority of global investment in clean energy projects was spent in developing countries. Clean energy investment in China alone outpaced that in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France combined. Across 55 major non-OECD countries, including India, Brazil, China, and Kenya, clean energy investment reached $126 billion in 2014, a record high and 39% higher than 2013 levels.

A new report by Chatham House and Glasgow University has revealed that curbing meat consumption through a number of different government interventions in industrialised countries (e.g. taxes) would be far more acceptable to consumers than governments might think. The livestock sector is estimated to be responsible for almost 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to tailpipe emissions from all the world’s vehicles.

The World Bank Group has unveiled a $16 Billion Africa climate business plan to tackle urgent climate challenges. The plan will be presented at COP21 in Paris next month, and is intended to ‘boost the resilience of the continent’s assets – its people, land, water, and cities - as well as other moves including boosting renewable energy and strengthening early warning systems’. Funding for implementation of the plan is expected from the International Development Association; $2.2 billion from various climate finance instruments; $2.0 billion from others in the development community; $3.5 billion from the private sector; and $0.7 billion from domestic sources, with an additional $2.0 billion still needed.