Turning public budgets towards sustainability

A guide to environmental-social budgeting

Global Policy Forum publishes guide to environmental-social budgeting

International development policy is at a crossroads. By September 2015, governments plan to adopt a Post-2015 Development Agenda – an agenda that is supposed to shape the fundamental priorities, goals and strategies for development policy beyond 2015. In parallel, governments have agreed to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals integrating all dimensions (social, economic and environmental) of sustainable development and being applicable to all countries in the world. Forming one coherent Post-2015 Agenda, including the SDGs, affects all policy areas beyond development policy in a narrow sense, in particular social, economic and environmental policy – and above all fiscal policy.

Governments have the primary responsibility to implement the Post-2015 Agenda. This has implications for fiscal policies and the allocation of public resources. Governments will have to formulate Sustainable Development Budgets in order to implement Sustainable Development Goals, facing the challenge of interdependencies between environmental and social policy goals. A consistent integration of different perspectives in budget policy and analysis will be needed to implement SDGs and avoid unwanted side-effects.

The new GPF publication describes possible entry points for shaping fiscal policy in accordance with sustainability criteria and shows how to use them in order to achieve environmental-social budgets. It uses the budget cycle as a tool in identifying such entry points, from the drafting of the budget to policy implementation and monitoring of the results.

By Jens Martens, Silja Dressel, Wolfgang Obenland and Conny Petzold

Published by Global Policy Forum Europe

Bonn, July 2014

ISBN 978-3-943126-17-4