Governance for Integrated Solutions to Sustainable Development and Climate Change: From linking issues to aligning interests

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July 2018
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)

Many policymakers are responding to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by integrating multiple economic, social and environmental concerns into their development plans. Fewer studies have examined the governance arrangements needed to align agency and other stakeholder interests behind integrated solutions. This is a significant gap because policymakers will need to understand both issue linkages and governance arrangements that can help align interests to make integrated solutions effective. This study, Governance for integrated solutions to sustainable development and climate change: From linking issues to aligning interests, has aimed to fill that gap by determining whether and to what extent three different dimensions of governance—horizontal coordination, vertical coordination, and multistakeholder engagement—affected narrowly drawn efforts to mitigate climate change and achieve other development objectives. The study sought to draw lessons from a series of case studies focusing on the governance arrangements that supported 1) co-benefits, 2) sustainable transport, 3) integrated solid waste management and 4) the water-energy-food nexus in the Asia-Pacific region.

Overall, the case studies suggest that the greater the number and diversity of issues in an integrated solution, the more countries will need to strengthen institutional structures and enhance decisionmaking processes to advance that solution. However, more coordination within and engagement beyond government may not be needed for all integrated solutions.