July 2020: Montreal Statement on Sustainability in the Digital Age

The recently launched multi-stakeholder global initiative ‘Sustainability in the Digital Age‘ led by TRANSGOV global associate Dr. Amy Luers, has just published its Montreal Statement, highlighting the interconnected agendas of building a climate-safe and equitable world and building a trusted, inclusive, and just digital world. 

In its Digital Disruptions for Sustainability (D^2S) Agenda, the initiative also highlights the role of unprecedented transparency in climate and sustainability governance. The TRANSGOV project engages with this aspect and contributes a critical research lens into widely held assumptions about the transformative potential of transparency as a governance mechanism.

In the Agenda, TRANSGOV’s Principal Investigator, Aarti Gupta, offers the following reflection:

“Many are optimistic about the role of unprecedented levels of transparency in securing more accountable and effective global sustainability governance. Yet, research suggests that transparency may not be all that it promises to be.

For example, transparency is often assumed to be essential to trust, however, the opposite might well hold: there might need to be trust first, in order to have meaningful transparency.

Thus it is critical to research not only the design of transparency systems, but also the normative and political contexts within which such systems are deployed, as these shape whether and under what conditions transparency may realize its transformative potential in global sustainability governance”.

TRANSGOV will continue to closely work with the Digitalization and Sustainability Initiative in furthering joint research and policy-relevant interests.

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