Stockholm+50 celebrated and reflected on 50 years of global environmental action. IIED contributed to these discussions through new research and a series of events.

Stockholmsmässan, Stockholm and online
Last updated 4 June 2022
Five young men sit on benches on a lawn outside a building. They are listening to two older men seated at a desk.

In April 2022, consultation workshops were held in Gicumbi District, Rwanda, where residents shared their recommendations and expectations for Stockholm+50 (Photo: Ministry of Environment – Rwanda via FlickrCC BY-ND 2.0)

On 2 and 3 June 2022, a crucial international environmental meeting was held in Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm+50 commemorated the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and celebrated 50 years of global environmental action. 

This is also where IIED’s history began – this year we celebrate IIED’s 50th birthday – and IIED has stayed with the intergovernmental processes ever since. 

The Stockholm+50 discussions came at a pivotal moment as countries and leaders across the world reflect on the 50-year sustainable development journey and how to bridge the joint crises of climate change, loss of nature and poverty. 

As minds turn to what more is needed, locally-led action – where finance and decision-making power is shifted to the local level to get behind local solutions and implementation – must be central to the system-wide changes needed to deliver a healthy planet for the prosperity of all.

New research

This new report from IIED and the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (Sida) has been developed to support the finance-themed discussions at Stockholm+50.  

It highlights the compelling research and evidence for directly involving people at the frontline of the triple emergency, including Indigenous Peoples, local communities and other local actors and groups, in shaping and implementing actions that deliver outcomes for people, nature and climate on the ground.

Online events

Making finance flow for locally-led action in the Decade of Action

Date: Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Addressing the interconnected crises of climate change, the loss of nature and persistent poverty over the Decade of Action will be a central part of discussions at Stockholm+50.

In this webinar, part of the IIED Debates series, speakers from the global South, research institutes and the finance sector shared their lived experience, presented research, identified the challenges and built momentum for the uptake of critical solutions.

This event also shone a light on how Stockholm+50 can drive forward the transformation needed at all levels to enhance support for just, equitable and locally-led solutions through the decade ahead.

IIED at Stockholm +50

IIED and experts attended Stockholm+50 events including:

Revisiting economics and finance to accelerate action for people & planet

Side event

Date: Thursday, 2 June 2022
Organisers: Including UNEP, ILO, UNDP, UNIDO and UNITAR

Speakers: Including Achim Steiner, UNDP; Gerd Müller, UNIDO; Dr. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Minister for Environment and Forestry Indonesia; Hon. Kavydass Ramano, Minister of Environment Mauritius; Carin Jämtin, Sida; Green Economy Coalition representative

With linear and fossil-based economic and finance models of the past no longer an option in a world of increasing planetary crisis, climate risks, growing socioeconomic uncertainties, inequalities and poverty, we need broad-based partnerships. These must address economic, social and environmental dimensions in tandem that create resilience, sufficiency and increased capacities for human wellbeing and prosperity.

Our challenge is to correct the gross misallocation of capital that is depleting natural resources and ecosystems, while eroding social foundations and trust in public institutions. Our responsibility is to accelerate policy and investment shifts for an inclusive, green, system-wide socioeconomic transformation that creates new sustainable development pathways and ensures prosperity for all within planetary boundaries.

Keys to a better future - recommendations from the scientific report Stockholm+50: unlocking a better future

Side event

Date: Thursday, 2 June 2022
Organisers: Stockholm Environment (SEI), Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)

Speakers: Including Dr Philip Osano, centre director SEI Africa, SEI; Chris Kiptoo, principal secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Kenya; Dr Arunabha Ghosh, chief executive officer, CEEW; Andrew Norton, director IIED; Saleemul Huq, director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)

In this event, leading experts debated recommendations put forward in the report 'Stockholm+50: Unlocking a better future'. The report provides a scientific basis to the conference and proposed actions leaders can take now for systemic change to accelerate. The conversation focused on keys to change and how the conditions for delivering on commitments made for a better future must improve.

Financing locally-led action for people, nature and climate in the Decade of Action

Side event

Date: Friday, 3 June 2022
Organisers: IIED, Sida

Speakers: Including Gebru Jember, Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group elder; Minnie Degawan, Kankanaey Igorot, the Philippines, International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity; Melina Sakiyama, Global Youth Forum on Biodiversity; Elizabeth Nsimadala, East African Farmers Federation; Joan Carling, Indigenous Peoples Rights International; Carin Jämtin, director-general, Sida; Stig Traavik, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation; Andrew Norton, director, IIED

This side event explored how leaders can finance locally-led action for people, nature and climate through the Decade of Action.

We brought together speakers and researchers from IPLC groups, governments and the finance sector to share their lived experience, presented research and identified the solutions for the uptake of critical solutions.

Global call for financial action towards the nexus between climate and security

Side event

Date: Friday, 3 June 2022
Organisers: Republic of Kenya

Speakers: Including H.E. Amb. Raychelle Omamo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kenya; John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Alok Sharma, President COP26; Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance; Idris Elba, IFAD Goodwill Ambassador; Andrew Norton, director, IIED

This event fed into the outcome of UNEA5.2 and UNEP@50 with the inextricable nature of climate change to the other environmental issues. It also fed into the upcoming UNFCCC climate change conference (COP27) in which climate financing forms part of the key asks for Kenya to the developing states.

Achieving a healthy planet for all through a gender just recovery

Side event

Date: Friday, 3 June 2022
Organisers: UNEP, Global Green Growth Institute, UN Women, Green Growth Knowledge Partnership Gender Expert Group

Speakers: Madeleine Diouf Sarr, LDC Group; Sarah Hendricks, UN Women; Bhavna Choudhury, The Indegenous Pem Narayan Kandel, Ministry of Forests and Environment Nepal; Sheila Oparaocha, ENERGIA International Network; Asad Naqvi, UNEP

Gender must be at the forefront of the regenerative work being done to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic while addressing climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. With the concept of 'just transitions' as an entry point, this event aimed to explore why gender equality needs to be a central component of global environmental action and to the ambitions of a better post-COVID-19 world.

It spotlighted the opportunities and limitations of our current just transition financing tools and models in fulfilling our commitment to combating the three planetary crises and ensuring that the funding gap for disadvantaged groups is closed and that they are socially and economically empowered to fruitfully participate and benefit from the post-COVID-19 recovery strategies.