Warsaw, May 20, 2013 – A two-day inaugural international conference of the Economics of Green Growth Peer-Assisted Learning (EGGPAL) Network took place in Warsaw, Poland on May 15-17, 2013, co-hosted by the World Bank and the Polish Ministry of Environment. About 90 participants from various ECA countries came to learn from each other, discuss challenges and solutions for a broad range of green growth challenges, and to identify common interests that could serve to establish communities of interest within the network.
Participants of the conference included representatives of the ministries of economy, environment and finance from across Europe and Central Asia, selected governments from the Western European countries, as well as academic, nongovernmental, and international development institutions.
“The economic analysis of climate change and green growth is a multisectoral area of technical expertise which is still emerging. Yet, the governments in the region understand that a move to green growth may well be transformative across their economies,” said Philippe Le Houerou, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia during his opening remarks. “I am very happy to see that a large number of participants from around the region are interested in this topic. They need to understand much more about it to make better policy and investment choices. We hope that EGGPAL can provide at least the beginning of a response to this need.”
The newly launched EGGPAL is a regional network for peer learning and technical cooperation among senior technical specialists from governments in Europe and Central Asia on the economics of climate change and green growth. Regular conferences and workshops such as this one will be complemented by a knowledge-sharing web-based platform. This new network draws on the lessons learnt from establishing similar networks for government experts on public expenditure management (PEMPAL), migration policy (MIRPAL), and judicial reform (JUSTPAL) and will build on other key green growth knowledge efforts, such as the Green Growth Knowledge Platform.
“Seeking the ways that will guarantee sustainable economic development is by no means a small challenge,” said Aneta Wilmańska, Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Environment. “Therefore, I consider it very valuable that the World Bank is taking the initiative to develop a platform for an in-depth debate about efficient approaches to fostering green economies in the countries with varying environments and development levels. I believe that the World Bank, with its huge experience and professionalism, will ensure creative development of that initiative. As we undertake numerous activities in that area as well, we will be happy to share with other stakeholders our extensive experience in creating conditions conducive to sustainable development. I am glad that the key topics from the standpoint of green economy, such as: green public procurement, green taxes, renewable energy sources, and climate issues, will be discussed during the conference. The last of those items deserves particular attention in the context of the COP 19 organized by Poland in Warsaw in the autumn of this year.”
The program of the conference covers a broad range of green growth issues, including carbon pricing; energy subsidies; green investment schemes; feed-in tariffs and subsidies for renewables and other green technologies; climate change public expenditure reviews; costs of mitigation and adaptation to climate change; public investment choices; green jobs; green exports; green innovations; and others.
The next steps for this new network will be to establish an online presence to provide a virtual meeting place for network members as well as a broad set of practical information for the public about assessing and implementing greener growth in Europe and Central Asia.