1 September 2014

Africa: Momentum Building for a Greener and More Inclusive Economy

press release

London — A quarter of the world's countries are now pursuing green economy plans Three new reports to support governments in building greener and more inclusive economies unveiled at the Green Economy Coalition annual meeting

Green economy policies are spreading worldwide at an increasing pace, with more than 65 countries now actively pursuing green economy policies and 48 of them taking steps to develop national green economy plans.

These figures were presented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the Green Economy Coalition's first public annual meeting, which is assessing the status of green economy around the world and particularly progress towards financial reform.

"The green economy is a viable approach for countries interested in pursuing inclusive and sustainable growth strategies," said Sheng Fulai, Head of Research and Partnerships for UNEP's Economics and Trade Branch. "The new Green Economy Toolkit for Policymakers is intended to better equip countries as they advance in their plans to achieve sustainable development."

"The change is happening, but for it to spread more quickly and more deeply, it must better respond to people's hopes and fears. The green economy must benefit all of society," said Oliver Greenfield, Convenor of the Green Economy Coalition.

The annual Green Economy Coalition meeting (1-2 September 2014) brings together leaders from civil society, media, policy and business for a public dialogue around the green economy. Over 200 participants are attending the event, including featured speaker Sir David King, Special Representative for Climate Change, UK Foreign Office; Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capital Solutions; and Melissa Leach, Director of the Institute of Development Studies.

"Governments will have to take the lead and set out a clear pathway for business and finance to follow," said Sir David King. "A transition to a green economy is needed to tackle the enormous environmental challenges we face, and to take advantage of new economic opportunities."

During the Coalition meeting, UNEP also released three new reports to guide countries interested in advancing their national green economy transitions. The Green Economy Toolkit for Policymakers provides countries with practical guidance on how to formulate and assess policies, measure progress and model future effects of the transition.

The new toolkit was produced under the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), which aims to assist governments in their efforts to develop and implement green economy policies and strategies. The Green Economy Coalition has been instrumental in its support of PAGE, hosting dialogues and conducting national and regional-level outreach and catalysing a global movement for change.

The toolkit includes the following three reports:

A guidance manual for green economy policy assessment advises governments on how to set targets, identify policy reform needs, estimate the amount of investment and assess policy impacts. Examples and case studies illustrate how fiscal policy, trade policy and regulatory measures have been used in a wide range of countries. In South Africa, for instance, a 2013 assessment study found that green economy investments could create 169,000 new jobs, restore land and increase water availability with the right enabling conditions to advance their national green economy plans.

A guidance manual for green economy indicators outlines how indicators can be used to measure progress towards a more resource-efficient and inclusive economy. The report argues that targets and priorities need to be country specific, and provides guidance on how to identify and use indicators well suited to the national context. The report also calls for prioritising green economy in the agenda-setting stage and for building green economy strategies on existing policy priorities.

Using models for green economy policymaking concerns macroeconomic planning for both short and long term, and provides countries with a range of modelling tools for formulating and evaluating the impacts of green economy policies. The report emphasizes that modelling for green economy policies requires broad stakeholder involvement and estimation of impacts across sectors. It argues that impacts must be assessed on the short, medium and long term, and that both direct and indirect effects of action and inaction must be considered.


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