Tuesday 23 January: Parallel Sessions on Climate, Biodiversity, and Green Economy & IDI GFU Workshop

What's on Agenda?

The second assembly day includes workshops related to INTOSAI WGEA 2023-2025 Projects under the two thematic hubs: Climate & Biodiversity and Green Economy. Parallel to project workshops, IDI GFU organizes a workshop on Strategic Response to Climate Change for SAIs. Please find below the parallel session descriptions.


Integrating Environmental Considerations in National Budget | Aeree Joy Kim, UNEP Green Fiscal Policy Network

This workshop delivered by UNEP and co-led with the ECA and SAI USA, will explore the pivotal role of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in integrating environmental considerations into economic planning for sustainable socio-economic management. It will delve into the interconnections between environmental and development objectives, the impact of environmental issues on budget performance and public procurement, and tools that can help governments and SAIs track, measure and improve the performance of a national/sub-national budget against national priorities. The session will also discuss the role of sustainable public procurement, the repurposing of environmentally harmful subsidies and explore collaborative initiatives for SAIs and UNEP to advance the green fiscal policy agenda. This session is an essential convergence of environmental stewardship and economic governance, offering insights for anyone committed to a sustainable future.

Nexus Area: Climate and Biodiversity | Charles Karangwa, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Marie-Pierre Grondin, SAI Canada, Alar Jürgenson SAI Estonia, Sylva Müllerová, SAI Czech Republic and Hossein Hejazi Seyed, SAI Iran

The interlinkages between biodiversity and climate and nature-based solutions are receiving increased attention globally. Climate change and biodiversity loss are closely interlinked, and the first Global Stocktake on Paris Agreement adopted at COP28 in December notes the importance of conserving, protecting, and restoring nature and ecosystems towards achieving the Paris Agreement temperature goal. 

This topic will have two parallel sessions. First of them includes an online presentation from IUCN as well as a video from Finnish Environment Institute on the literature review commissioned for the project. Second session will include SAI audit cases from Estonia, Czech Republic and Iran SAI Canada will provide a presentation in both sessions and lead a group discussion.

Workshop on System of Environmental-Economic Accounting | Johanna Pakarinen, Statistics Finland

This workshop focuses on the main features and concepts of the System of Environmental economic accounting (SEEA). SEEA is an international statistical standard and framework that integrates economic and environmental data by using the structures and classifications consistent with the System of National Accounts.  SEEA can be used to analyze the impacts of the economy on the environment and the contribution of the environment to the economy, and the effectiveness of policy instruments. The workshop is delivered by Johanna Pakarinen who works as Senior Statistician and is product owner of Environmental Accounts at Statistics Finland. Ms Pakarinen is an experienced trainer who is also the Chair of the UNECE Task Force on Measuring Circular Economy.

Environmental Accounting: The Role of the SAI | SAI UK

This interactive workshop aims to consider the role and position of SAIs in response to environmental accounting. We will consider the frameworks and uses of environmental accounting in different countries, and what the risks and benefits of this integrated environmental and economic data might be to public sector decision making. We will discuss how involved different SAIs are in the use of environmental accounting in their country, and how the underlying frameworks and concepts might underpin or change how we draw conclusions in our performance audits.

What You Always Wanted to Know about Sustainability Reporting but Never Dared to Ask! | Katharina Bryan, Amazon & Alex Metcalfe, ACCA & Khalid Hamid, CIPFA & Peter Welch, OECD

This session presents the basics of sustainability reporting in private sector and the emerging practices in public sector. Anyone is welcome to attend the session – also those with zero knowledge on the topic. Session is structured around the questions from the audience and participants can also submit their questions beforehand. The session is led by Katharina Bryan from Amazon and Alex Metcalfe from ACCA, and Khalid Hamid from CIPFA and Peter Welch from OECD will provide comments. To prepare for the session, the participants are kindly encouraged to familiarize themselves with one sustainability report from private sector and one by a SAI.

Oversight of Sustainability Reporting in the Public Sector and SAI Self-Assessment | Jade Quarrell, IDI & Chomprang Wongrusmeeduan, SAI Thailand & Normas Andi, SAI Indonesia

This session presents the joint work between IDI, IFAC and ACCA  on sustainability reporting oversight in the public sector and the INTOSAI WGEA project on sustainability reporting. The session also includes an exercise where SAIs can map their current work with sustainability and explore next steps. This workshop builds upon the first session on sustainability reporting “What you have always wanted to know about sustainability reporting but never dared to ask"- However, it is possible to attend only this latter session. The session is facilitated by Jade Quarrell from IDI, Chomprang Wongrusmeeduan from SAI Thailand and Normas Andi from SAI Indonesia. 

Auditing beyond the Election Cycle: Ensuring Accountability for Future Generations | Michael Thistlethwaite, Carla Ware & Claudia Migotto, Audit Office of NSW, Jerry DeMarco, SAI Canada & Vivi Niemenmaa, INTOSAI WGEA

This session thematises the timescale the public sector, and those who audit it, work with. Can we, as auditors, consider government accountability to address intergenerational inequality in the longer term? Are our legal systems ready to address intergenerational equity?

The entry point is the intergenerational perspective present for example in the “future generations” of sustainable development contrasted with the election cycles governments work with. Long-term considerations are essential in many environmental problems, and particularly in the face of a climate crisis which will drastically affect young and yet unborn generations.

The session shares auditors’ experiences in coming to terms with a longer timescale. The session draws especially from one of the longest living cultures in the world, presenting the Australian indigenous perspectives, including the ability to consider the past and the future across the timespan of generations, but also from the perspective of intergenerational inequalities. Intergenerational equity is also discussed as a legal matter, drawing from examples in Canadian environmental law.

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