OECD Green Growth Newsletter March 2013
The OECD Green Growth Newsletter keeps OECD Committees and other stakeholdes informed about the OECD’s Green Growth activities.
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The discussion at this year’s annual GGKP conference will be framed around two headline themes: Greening global value chains and Measurement and reporting for green growth. It will focus on private sector implementation aspects of green growth in areas of mutual interest to advanced, emerging and developing countries. The conference will bring together a dynamic mix of private sector representatives, policymakers and academics from around the world, and will include participation from OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. The GGKP conference will stir discussions to identify the opportunities as well as challenges to spread the economic benefits of green growth throughout the global economy and contribute to the achievement of countries’ development objectives. It will communicate fresh ideas from recent policy research to help countries shape their green growth policies that are simultaneously environmentally effective, cost-efficient and socially inclusive.
In the context of the 2012 East Asia Climate Partnership (EACP) programme, the OECD has engaged in a 2-year horizontal project, whose overarching objective is to help promote green growth in selected ASEAN countries, in line with the region’s development objectives. Building on the OECD expertise on green growth, this work will follow up on the OECD Green Growth framework and the OECD Development Strategy, which will be tailored to the specificities of ASEAN economies.
Some new business models involve large firms, others are small start-up firms that seek to exploit technological or commercial opportunities that have been neglected or not yet explored by more established firms. New firms tend to engage in more radical innovation than existing firms, and scaling up new business models can therefore help reduce environmental pollution, optimise the use of natural resources, increase productivity and energy efficiency, and provide a new source of economic growth. Although the market for green goods and services is growing, the development of new business models is affected by a range of barriers, many of which can be addressed by well-designed policies.
Environmental Performance Review: Mexico
Mexico is faced with difficult trade-offs as it pursues its economic, social and environmental goals. Like other emerging economies Mexico is balancing the need to protect its natural resources with the need to address high levels of income inequality and poverty.“Environmental degradation and dwindling natural resources cost Mexico 7% of its GDP in 2010 according to Mexican estimates. But the right mix of policies can promote inclusive green growth” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. This OECD Environmental Performance Review of Mexico outlines steps the country has taken to address these growing environmental pressures and identifies cost-effective policies and practices to further its efforts.
Environmental Performance Review: Italy
The OECD’s Environmental Performance Review of Italy released on 8th March in Rome analyses progress in achieving a range of national objectives and international commitments, and presents 29 recommendations on how performance could be improved. The report highlights a range of initiatives the country undertook to improve the management of its natural resources and reduce energy intensity. Despite progress, the report says Italy still faces numerous environmental challenges: For example, it is still home to half of the 30 European cities with the worst air pollution and some 15 000 dump-sites (many of them illegal) are contaminating land. To meet these challenges, the review recommends that Italy strengthen the coherence of its environmental governance and policies, ensuring that the synergy among country-wide economic, environmental and social objectives is fully exploited.
The Economic Survey of South Africa 2013 was published in March, with a chapter on the ‘Economic growth in South Africa: Getting to the right shade of green’. Despite having become increasingly active in the area of green growth policies, South Africa needs to improve their implementation to meet key environmental challenges and social objectives. Effective green growth policies should be combined with other structural and macroeconomic policies to reconcile rapid economic growth with environmental sustainability. A key element of such a policy mix is improving price-setting and taxation in the areas of energy and water to cover maintenance and investment needs, let alone price externalities.
Green Growth in Africa: Concepts, Tools and Strategies for Building Greener Economies and a Sustainable Future
in partnership with the OECD, the African Development Bank, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Government of Zambia hosted two back-to-back workshops in January 2013 under the theme “Green Growth in Africa: Concepts, Tools and Strategies for Building Greener Economies and a Sustainable Future”. Bringing over 100 participants including policy makers and technical experts from 20 African countries and representatives from the donor community, the event was targeted at informing and sharing African governments’ experiences in these areas, while facilitating dialogue with donor agencies in attendance, which have supported Africa’s green growth undertakings.
International Day of Happiness: 20 March 2013
The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. (see OECD’s Better life index)
World Water Day: 22 March 2013
World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This day holds particular significance this year as 2013 is the UN’s international year of water co-operation. (see The Water Challenge: OECD’s Response)
· 08/03/2013: Environmental Performance Review: Italy
· 04/03/2013:Economic Survey: South Africa 2013 (chapter on ‘getting to the right shade of green’)
· 27/02/2013: Why New Business Models Matter for Green Growth
· 27/02/2013: Brochure: OECD Work on Environment for 2013-2014
· 28/01/2013: Taxing Energy Use
· 15/01/2013: Environmental Performance Review: Mexico
· 08/01/2013: Making Water Reform Happen in Mexico
HQE®E – environmental building certification of OECD real estate continues, two buildings are now certified. This certification has, since 2010, been an integral part of the OECD’s internal greening strategy. Our aim is to obtain the HQE®E – certification for all of the OECD’s real estate over the course of the coming years. To celebrate this success, OECD will, on 23/3/2013 at 20.30, join hundreds of millions of people across the globe in switching off the lights of its facilities for one hour – Earth Hour, the world’s largest public environmental action. By taking part in this symbolic event we acknowledge our commitment to operational actions that benefit the planet in the year ahead, beyond the hour.
3 April: OECD workshop, Inclusive Growth for Shared Prosperity.
4-5 April: Green Growth Knowledge Platform, OECD, Paris
4-5 April: Global Forum on Development
7-8 November: 2013 Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum
For more information, see the OECD events calendar
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Nathalie Girouard, Green Growth and Sustainable Development Coordinator, [email protected]