Realize Green, Digital, Just Transition
Emerging and frontier economies may reap multiple benefits from ‘leapfrogging’ into smart cities, buildings, transport, agriculture, etc. In addition, a number of benefits can be captured by increasing access to energy for rural populations through digitally enabled off-grid solutions and alternative financing mechanisms, enhancing resilience through risk-informed infrastructure planning and early warning, as well as supporting sustainable small-scale agriculture and realizing traceability from farm to fork.
Governments and businesses must prioritize investment into regionally relevant digital innovation that catalyses climate change mitigation and adaptation, and reduces impact on nature. Such innovation will need to happen with a healthy local digital innovation ecosystem, where local businesses, entrepreneurs and academia play a key role, and contribute to the co-creation of green digital jobs and livelihoods. Currently, the majority of digital technology innovation is happening within a few countries; thus, an active, progressive vision is needed working in parallel to Our Common Agenda to reverse the trends of innovation inequality.
The global community should actively and comprehensively promote access to a broad scope of digital innovations for the “whole-of-society”. This is needed to empower local digital ecosystems to take part in technology development, promote open source or Digital Public Good approaches and capacity development, build investments and public funding to foster local digital innovation ecosystems, and establish multi-faceted partnerships. All these approaches must ensure truly inclusive bottom up perspectives that are locally driven and target improving livelihoods of the most marginalized. Women and youth literacy and capacity to benefit from these digital innovations will ensure technological uptake that is both sustainable and builds the social and human capital of those often left behind.