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Climate Actions and Green Growth Solutions Across Europe and Central Asia

April 10, 2014


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World Bank

The Economics of Green Growth Peer-Assisted Learning Network (EGGPAL) gathered roughly 110 government officials and international policy makers from Europe and Central Asia (ECA) at its inaugural conference in Warsaw in May 2013 to discuss the challenges of reconciling climate change and economic growth. Participants found the knowledge-sharing initiative timely and relevant and are keen to continue exchanging expertise on technical tools and analytics to support their countries’ transition to greener development paths.

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Challenge

The multi-sectoral economic analysis of green growth is an emerging and evolving area of technical expertise that is highly useful for countries as they transition to more socially inclusive and growth-enhancing greener development paths. Whether driven by current or prospective European Union (EU) membership requirements, by international or local political pressures, or by already apparent sustainability challenges (including extreme weather events), many ECA countries need to strengthen their institutional and technical capacity. By bringing in outside experts and exchanging cutting-edge knowledge within the network, EGGPAL provides a forum for ECA countries to accelerate the learn-as-you-go process.

Solution

As a global knowledge broker, the World Bank launched EGGPAL as a regional learning network to enhance technical cooperation among government specialists from the ministries of finance, the economy, and the environment across the ECA region. EGGPAL supports leadership and action on climate change by focusing on the utility of economics tools to generate analysis to better shape strategies. The link between technical models and practical implementation makes EGGPAL an ideal platform to increase the knowledge and operationalization know-how of technical specialists within ECA governments. There are many advocacy groups that raise awareness on green growth and climate action, but EGGPAL aims to share more detailed and practical real-world experience between peers. To supplement face-to-face events, EGGPAL members will have direct access to the tools and models, policies and programs, and implementation frameworks that are in place in other countries through their web-based interactions.

Results

All participants expressed appreciation for the timeliness and technical rigor of the EGGPAL conference, finding the format engaging and the content relevant. The inaugural conference, attended by about 110 government officials and international policy makers, was a successful first step in strengthening the institutional and technical capacity of ECA governments, and in enhancing coordination among the key ministries at both national and regional levels. The green growth issues covered at the conference were broad, ranging from carbon pricing and energy subsidies to green jobs and exports. Other topics included green investments and technologies, and the costs and potential benefits of climate change mitigation. Government officials indicated that the sessions on modeling were particularly useful for the purpose of generating strong analytics and better strategies. The interest and momentum generated by the event was significant, leading to further knowledge-sharing activities on green growth and climate action in the region. EGGPAL will launch its website and host its second conference in spring 2014, to continue facilitating the development and application of the multi-sectoral economic analysis of green growth within this peer network.


" It’s really important. It gives us an opportunity to see other countries’ expectations and practices. And so I believe that this is very important and it’s very productive. "

Simay Erdoĝan

Turkey's Ministry of Environment

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Bank Group Contribution

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) contributed US$220,000 to finance the organization of the EGGPAL conference and the website. It also employed its convening power to gather officials from 26 governments together with other internationally recognized experts and stakeholders.

Partners

There is a strong partnership between the World Bank and the Government of Poland. Other partners that collaborated in providing knowledge included the European Commission, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Global Green Growth Institute, Department for International Development (UK), University of Oldenburg, German Aerospace Center, Warsaw University, and DemosEuropa.

Moving Forward

The EGGPAL website will be launched in spring 2014 as an online platform for government officials to ask questions and exchange knowledge on a broad range of green growth challenges. Members will also have access to cutting-edge tools and analyses, important documents, and presentations on the website, as part of an ongoing process of peer learning. In response to client demand, the organization of the second conference is already under way, with a more specific focus on the technical questions raised by members. It is hoped that this conference will further consolidate EGGPAL into a self-sustaining network in the near future.

Beneficiaries

The immediate beneficiaries of this activity are the government officials from the relevant ministries from the 26 ECA countries, who will make use of the cutting-edge tools and the network connections to improve their decision making on policy areas related to climate change (such as their National Strategy for Sustainable Development, NSSD). Moreover, since lowering greenhouse gas emissions is a global public good, the ultimate beneficiaries are the world’s population, and in particular, future generations. 


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