The State of Global Environmental Governance 2023

In global environmental talks in 2023, the focus across nearly all issue areas was funding implementation and reviewing performance.

  • 2023 saw a lot of stocktaking, from assessing progress toward the SDGs at their halfway point to the first global stocktake of climate action at UNFCCC COP 28.

  • Finance is central to nearly all environmental negotiations, but the geopolitics and economic woes of 2023 raised the stakes still higher.

  • 2023 wasn't all multilateral triumphs. Some outcomes were weaker than many hoped, representing what was politically possible but not necessarily ambitious.

The year saw the last of the COVID pandemic-delayed milestones completed. Countries adopted major decisions to improve global chemicals management and protect marine life in international waters. But most of the year was about making all these rules work.

Join the globetrotting Earth Negotiations Bulletin team as they review 2023's sustainable development negotiations, draw links between the talks, and look down the road to what the coming months hold for environmental multilateralism. With unique insights gained from observing talks on climate change, biodiversity, chemicals, SDGs, forests, land, and more, the fifth edition of The State of Global Environmental Governance explores both the triumphs and misses of the international effort to build a better future for our planet.

Foreword by Ambassador Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean.

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