The convergence of the digital and green transitions presents both opportunities and challenges for societal efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This high-level opening session examined questions such as:
• What are the joint impacts of the twin transitions on competitiveness of sectors and regions, labour conditions?
• How to ensure that no-one is left behind?
• How can digital technologies improve the design, monitoring and enforcement of environmental policies, and what are the possible negative impacts?
• How can SMEs emerge more resilient, innovative and competitive from these societal transformations?
• What role do digital technologies play in ensuring smart, inclusive, and sustainable cities?
• How has the international landscape shifted since the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement, and how could this affect international co-operation on green growth?
This session addressed these and related issues to set the scene for the Forum on Green Growth and Sustainable Development.
DušanChrenek (European Commission)MathiasCormann (OECD)KirstenDunlop (Climate-KIC)LamiaKamal-Chaoui (OECD)YurikoKoike (Japan)FabriziaLapecorella (OECD)JeremyRollison (Microsoft)JerrySheehan (OECD)DominicWaughray (World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD))
09:45 - 10:15
10:15 - 11:30
Session 1: Digital technologies for promoting green production and consumption
Digital technologies can support the shift in production and consumption required for the green transition. Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IOT) could lead to better environmental outcomes in several industries by improving resource use efficiency and supporting the adoption of more circular business models. Digital technologies can also empower consumers – who, according to surveys, are willing to make lifestyle compromises that benefit the environment when there are no additional financial costs – to make greener choices. Such transformations have distributional implications, however. For example, costs and impacts of the twin transitions, such as higher energy prices and job automation, tend to affect low-income households and low-skilled workers more. At the same time, lower-income households are often more exposed to the impacts of climate change and pollution, and are therefore more likely to reap the benefit of ambitious climate action.
This session discussed how digital technologies can help to promote greener production and consumption while ensuring that no one is left behind and that sustainability concerns over the growing use of AI are addressed.
StephanieMinster (Eon)El IzaMohamedou (OECD)MichelMorvan (Co-founder, Cosmo Tech)ElenaVerdolini (Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC))ChristophZiegenhohn (EU Representation of the Federal Employment Agency, Germany)IlzeZvidrina (Latvia)
12:15 - 13:15
SIDE EVENT: Peer-learning workshop on policies for a just transition
The concentration of carbon-intensive industries (e.g. cement, steel) poses significant challenges to regions whose economics are heavily reliant on such sectors. These territories often face the joint challenge of diversifying their local economy away from such sectors while dealing with legacies of economic stagnation and environmental degradation.
This workshop brought together stakeholders from regions engaged in the low-carbon transition to discuss the challenges and solutions associated with transforming local economies, while ensuring a just transition for all. For example:
• What participatory approaches can ensure that all stakeholders are included in decision-making processes?
• What policies can support entrepreneurship and equip workers with skills to find employment in identified growth sectors, and how can local governments finance these?
• How can regional stakeholders establish effective knowledge-sharing networks to accelerate the low-carbon transition?
KarenCainKlausFreytagLidiaGreco (University of Bari, Italy)DianaJunquera Curiel (IndustriALL Global Union)ElisaLanzi (OECD Environment Directorate)JamesWilson (Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness)
13:30 - 14:45
Session 2: Digital technologies for better environmental policy design, monitoring and enforcement
Digital technologies have the potential to improve the whole policy cycle to make environmental policies more effective. More accurate and real-time information on pollution can allow the design of more effective policies. Environmental compliance could be enhanced through monitoring, using digital technologies and satellite imagery, while drones could be used to identify illegal logging or construction. But there are trade-offs to consider as well. Deepfakes, misuse of AI and broader online misinformation campaigns may disrupt environmental legislative processes by targeting lawmakers and influencing public consultation processes, e.g. through credible but fake responses. Technological barriers may limit participation of citizens that are not digitally savvy in participatory policy making.
This session will discuss how digital technologies can help enhance the design, monitoring and enforcement of environmental policies.
ShardulAgrawala (OECD)GiedriusKadziauskas (Environment Protection Department, Lithuania)KathyPeach (Centre for Collective Intelligence Design, Nesta)VivianRibeiro (Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI))SaschaRuja (Egis, France)MariletteVan As (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Netherlands)
14:45 - 15:15
15:15 - 16:30
Session 3: Digital technologies for the green transition of SMEs
The green digital transition creates both opportunities and challenges for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Digitalisation can open-up new business opportunities by enabling low-carbon and circular business models, such as a sharing economy and online markets for second-hand or repaired products, and improving product life-cycle traceability. However, SMEs often face barriers to the adoption of green and digital technologies, such as lack of skills and access to finance. Furthermore, while the administrative burden of sustainability reporting requirements imposed on larger firms often trickle down supply chains to SMEs, digital technologies may help to automatise some of the reporting.
This session discussed the role that digital technologies can play in driving a circular, low-carbon economy transition in SMEs, key challenges that hinder their adoption and possible policy solutions. The role of innovative start-ups in the green and digital areas, and how to promote their scale-up, was also discussed.
EnricoBiele (Italian National Energy Agency)HeatherBuchanan (Bankers for Net Zero, UK)AnaCosta Paula (Ministry of Economy and Maritime Affairs)LuciaKatriňáková (Slovak Alliance for Innovation Economy (SAPIE))PatrikThollander (Linkoping University, Sweden)CarstenWaldeck (Chair of the DIGITAL SME Focus Group on Sustainability)