The growth model of the last century has been accompanied by significant environmental degradation and increasing social inequality. It is thus one of the greatest challenges of our time to build economies that improve human well-being and social equity while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Recognizing this fact, increasingly more countries wish to embark on greener and more inclusive growth trajectories through a reframing of their economic policies and practices around sustainability and strengthening of the ecological foundations of their economies. Unity and enthusiasm from Member States are evidenced in the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. These global agendas have increased country demand for technical assistance and capacity building for the plan and implementation of the transition to an inclusive green economy.
Towards a Solution
The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) was launched in 2013 as a response to the Rio+20 call to support those countries wishing to embark on greener and more inclusive growth trajectories. By bringing together five United Nations agencies United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) PAGE represents a mechanism to coordinate United Nations action on the green economy, offering integrated and holistic support, while also ensuring coherence and avoiding duplication.
While positioning itself as an emerging economic power, China is shifting its development focus toward sustainability. To better tackle various challenges associated with the transition, the Government of China expressed its interest and commitment to work with PAGE, starting at the provincial level in Jiangsu.
With PAGE support, the Jiangsu Province of China aims to achieve the following objectives:
To identify good practices at the policy, business and sub-provincial levels for replication and upscaling in other provinces and countries. Jiangsu Province is relatively advanced in integrating key elements of a green economy into development plans and policies. Identifying and sharing these good practices nationally could thus inspire further changes in other provinces.
To identify and analyse major challenges to the implementation of green economy policy. Although some green economy policies have been established, the Province still faces challenges in transforming its economy. Through the engagement of local stakeholders, PAGE supports the provincial government to identify challenges in order to offer targeted solutions in future phases.
In the initial phase, PAGE supports Jiangsu Province through:
the identification of the province’s green economy successes and good practices, in partnership with the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP);
the production of a stocktaking report of major green economy strategies, policies and plans, including those embedded in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), providing a database of successes and good practices.
PAGE engages a wide range of local stakeholders in capacity-building activities for green finance, green jobs, green industry and inclusiveness in a green economy. It is innovative because this is the first time that five United Nations partners have come together to coordinate their expertise and resources at national level. Joint efforts have allowed PAGE to deliver more than the sum of its individual organizations’ contributions. Over the past four years, PAGE has set clear policy directions and targets for green development that could guide policy and investment decisions. In many areas, project activities have led to actual policy changes, an important parameter for long-term impact.
In Mongolia, through the National Green Development Policy (NGDP) Action Plan, the different thematic work streams initiated by PAGE have been consolidated in a Government-owned document. In particular, PAGE has supported an amendment to the Law on Public Procurement, which is expected to be submitted to the Parliament during the third quarter of 2018. UNIDO’s PAGE engagement in the country has supported a study on waste management for end-of-life vehicles, which is expected to provide policy advice that will be incorporated into national strategies, and an action plan for waste management of end-of-life vehicles.
In Burkina Faso, after an assessment carried out by the Group for Research and Applied Analysis for Development(GRAAD) in 2015, UNIDOwasrequested to help update and amend the country’s industrial policy document and to organize an information and awareness meeting after its adoption. The work on greening the industrial policy has followed the process set out in the Practitioner’s Guide to Strategic Green Industrial Policy by UNIDO/PAGE in 2016, using GRAAD local expertise. Moreover, UNIDO has been requested to make recommendations for short- and long- term measures to enable the transition to a green economy through industry, which will contribute to the sustainability of the greening policy.
In Barbados, UNIDO is engaged in various proposals that emerged from the Barbados Green Economy Scoping Study (GESS), which consists in the identification of key greening opportunities.
PAGE has been able to facilitate a spirit of collaboration for green development across both government and NGOs, including other green initiatives such as the Global Green Growth Initiative (GGGI), the Education for Sustainable Development Project (ESD) and the Poverty and Environment Initiative (PEI).
PAGE seeks the promotion of South-South and triangular industrial cooperation as a mechanism to foster inclusive green economy through the exchange of knowledge on inclusive green economy, including exchanges and visits to PAGE partner countries. Over the past years, several new tools were created including the Green Economy Policy Framework and Integrated Green Economy Model, enabling mutual learning processes and supporting green economy so as to achieve the 2030 Agenda. A number of high-level global events including Powering the SDGs in Geneva, and Policy Innovations towards green economy at COP 23 have allowed PAGE beneficiary countries to share knowledge and experiences. PAGE currently has 13 partner countries, which are engaged at various levels of a green economy transformation, including policy development at the national and sectoral level, capacity building and awareness-raising.
Countries/Regions involved: Barbados, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Ghana, Guyana, Kyrgyz Republic, Mauritius, Mongolia, Peru, Senegal, South Africa, Uruguay
Supported by: Finland, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, European Union, and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund
Implementing entities: UNEP, ILO, UNDP, UNIDO, UNITAR
Project status: Ongoing
Project period: 2013-2020
URL of the practice: www.un-page.org; goo.gl/jDhAhw