Poverty Environment Partnership issues call to action on 2030 Agenda

A new report urges structural reforms to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change and the loss of environmental assets during the next 15 years.

News, 13 July 2016
Maintaining the solar street lighting in the village of Tinginaput, India. SDG 7 calls for access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (Photo: UK Department for international Development Creative Commons via Flickr)

Maintaining the solar street lighting in the village of Tinginaput, India. SDG 7 calls for access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (Photo: UK Department for international Development Creative Commons via Flickr)

The Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP) has launched a new report calling for the mainstreaming of poverty, environment and climate issues at the heart of efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda.

The report, entitled Getting to Zero (PDF), proposes a "triple vision" of zero extreme poverty, zero net climate emissions, and zero net loss of natural assets.

PEP launched the paper on 13 July, at a side event at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The forum is the key United Nations platform for reviewing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. It is taking place in New York from 11-20 July.

The side event focused on the key issues of empowerment, institutional and finance reforms and new metrics, as well as the launch PEP's "Getting to Zero" report. 

PEP is an alliance of nearly 30 international organisations committed to ending extreme poverty while sustaining the environment. The meeting featured speakers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, UNDP and Finland. It was hosted by IIED director Andrew Norton. Panelists discussed how the links between poverty, environment and climate need to be addressed to ensure that 'no one is left behind'.

The event was being hosted by the governments of Finland, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, as well as IIED, WWF, the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) and OECD/DAC/ENVIRONET.

Four-part call to action

The report says poverty, environment and climate linkages must no longer be marginalised if the 2030 Agenda is to be achieved. It emphasises that urgent action is required now in order to achieve the necessary structural reform to enable poor countries to take the 17 SDGs to scale.

The report recommends:

  1. Increased empowerment and rights for women and men suffering extreme poverty, giving them the chance to control their future
  2. Integrated institutions: developing integrated, inclusive and transformative institutions – including for collective action on multiple systemic risks and opportunities
  3. Inclusive finance and business: reforming private and public investment – to better engage with the people and environments marginalised by current policy
  4. New messages and metrics: improving and aligning poverty, environment and climate messages, narratives and metrics – to inspire widespread understanding of poverty, environment and climate issues, and to galvanise and measure progress

Paul Steele, chief economist at IIED and PEP coordinator said: "Getting to Zero provides a clear and simple message for reaching integrated development that ends poverty, climate change and loss of natural assets. It puts the needs of people in poverty at the front and in the centre of country implementation plans while highlighting the urgent structural reforms needing to be tackled."

Matti Nummelin, senior environmental adviser, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, chair of OECD/DAC/ENVIRONET, said: "I'm delighted that so many environment and development experts from developed and developing countries have produced this timely report. Getting to Zero clearly makes the case for showing how environmental actions are deeply integrated into the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and whole Agenda 2030."

Daniele Ponzi, technical advisor (environment) at the Asian Development Bank, explained: "The Asian Development Bank welcomes the publication of Getting to Zero with its triple vision of 'zero poverty, zero net carbon emissions, zero net natural capital loss.' 

"Addressing the links between environment, climate change and poverty will be crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific. With our own strategy supporting inclusive, environmentally sustainable growth, ADB will continue to support forward-looking and high-impact interventions where no one is left behind."

The report opens with an overview of the changing context for meeting poverty, environment and climate challenges. It summarises PEP's findings on progress and barriers. It concludes with a call to action from 2015 to 2030 to ensure poverty, environment and climate issues are fully integrated during the 'SDGs era'.

PEP says it will be developing its strategy for collaboration with poor women and men in developing countries, helping to fully achieve the SDGs through the 'triple zero' call to action.

Further information

PEP's website has the full report is available for download (PDF).


For more information, contact Paul Steele ([email protected]), PEP coordinator and chief economist, IIED's Shaping Sustainable Markets research group