Green growth movement gains new grounds at COP17

The green growth concept today gained new grounds as one of the overarching development paradigms at the Durban climate change conference, with experts agreeing that failure by the world community to effectively manage climate change would create an environment that would be too hostile for future generations to live in.

Spearheaded by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) a side-event on green growth filled the biggest hall of the Africa Pavilion – most of the participants were experts and policy-makers, according to the Information and Communication Service of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, the United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of ECA, whose Commission has done extensive work on green growth attended the side-event. The last Africa Economic Forum co-organised by the ECA focused on green growth.

Senior officials from Brazil, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Republic of Korea used the side-event to share their unique and powerful stories about green growth initiatives that are being undertaken in their respective nations, underlying the fact that GGGI is one of the rare initiatives that is entirely driven by emerging and developing countries.

But it is Lord Nicholas Stern, author of the famous Stern Report on the economics of climate change, who encapsulated the vision of GGGI and what it stands for when he told the audience that climate change and environmental protection are inextricably intertwined.

“Development, adaptation and mitigation and climate change is not a diversion from the environment”, he explained, adding that GGGI will continue to work to enhance the conceptual understanding of the challenges posed by the different realities.

Earlier, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) held its 8th Board of Directors Meeting on the sidelines ofCOP17. The board selected two new board members: Messrs Kevin Rudd, Foreign Minister of Australia and Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark to initiate greater cooperation around the world on developing green growth policies.

The meeting was attended by former Prime Minister of Korea and GGGI Board Chairman Han Seung-soo; the UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber; Minister Trevor Manuel in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission of South Africa as well as by various other influential leaders who specialise in green growth and climate change.

GGGI was established by governments and individual actors to accelerate “bottom up” (country- and business-led) progress on climate change and other environmental challenges within core economic policy and business strategies, the institute describes itself.

Mr. Janneh has strongly suggested that building green economies in Africa will be an important element in preserving the environment and humanity’s common heritage. It would be recalled that at the opening session of the 2011 African Economic Conference Mr. Janneh defined the green economy as a concept for improving economic and social wellbeing that also ensures that production processes and consumption patterns do not further damage the environment.

ECA hosted the 2011 session of the African Economic Conference from 25th October this year, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. ECA’s Economic Development and NEPAD Division (EDND) runs a service which has a vibrant component on the green economy.


SourceEconomic Commission for Africa (ECA) – 6 Dec 2011