Mexico City meeting points to further, deeper knowledge-sharing, policy push
Mexico City, January 11, 2012 - Governments looking to design and implement green growth policies and move towards a green economy now have a new source of information and assistance. Four leading global organizations today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Green Growth Knowledge Platform, a cutting edge global initiative that will identify and address major knowledge gaps in green growth theory and practice. The agreement was signed by the Global Green Growth Institute, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Bank.
“This MoU marks the formal launch of essential international cooperation on testing, exploring, and refining policies and actions on green growth for practical implementation in both developed and developing countries,” said Richard Samans, Executive Director of the Global Green Growth Institute.
The coming decade will offer major opportunities for synergy between environmental and economic sustainability. For example, developing countries can factor “green” into their new investments in infrastructure and can further develop agriculture and other natural resources to improve livelihoods, create jobs, and reduce poverty.
“Governments seeking to re-ignite growth after the crisis,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, “should harness innovation, investment, and entrepreneurship to drive the shift to greener economies. We must intensify our efforts to move towards green growth to preserve natural capital and reduce pollution. It will be essential to avoid path dependency by breaking old habits of consumption and investing in new technology and infrastructure. The Green Growth Knowledge Platform will be key for facilitating collaboration among our four institutions, to provide governments with the best possible tools to achieve this goal.”
The Green Growth Knowledge Platform will improve local, national, and global economic policy-making around the world by providing rigorous and relevant analysis of the various synergies and tradeoffs between the economy and the environment. It will complement other efforts by emphasizing policy instruments that yield local environmental co-benefits while stimulating growth, providing a compelling set of incentives for governments.
Sylvie Lemmet, Director of UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, said, "The Platform offers new opportunities to push the envelope on how a green economy transition can generate jobs and income, while producing positive impacts on the environment and setting a new threshold for enhanced global cooperation towards accelerating and scaling up sustainable development."
The MoU signing took place on the eve of the inaugural Green Growth Knowledge Platform conference. The conference, with more than 120 leading scholars and practitioners, has been organized in partnership with Mexico to:
- take stock of the current understanding of the economics of green growth;
- engage researchers and practitioners in an ongoing dialogue to increase understanding of how green growth approaches can be applied in the field;
- identify knowledge gaps and establish priorities for knowledge-building work and implementation; and
- launch follow-on efforts.
“This conference is taking an important step in convening a community of experts and practitioners to develop a shared, evidence-based vision of the contributions greener growth can make to sustainable development,” said Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank. “By joining forces and sharing data, we can equip policy makers everywhere with better tools to manage the choices and trade-offs that greener and more inclusive growth may entail.”
The MoU signing and conference are the first steps toward the Green Growth Knowledge Platform’s efforts to shape the global knowledge agenda for green growth. Moving forward, the Platform will organize new research programs around a handful of priority themes to be identified later this week, as well as cultivate a dynamic global community of green growth researchers and practitioners.