, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 26 – Sustainable development and more specifically the green economy, has been a focal point of debate during the inaugural United Nations Environment Assembly.
Debate that serves one of the Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) missions which is to raise awareness on green growth; which they capture in their mission statement as:
“A new model of economic growth in developing and emerging countries, known as “green growth,” that simultaneously targets key aspects of economic performance, such as poverty reduction, job creation and social inclusion, and those of environmental sustainability, such as mitigation of climate change and biodiversity loss and security of access to clean energy and water.”
And in an exclusive interview with Capital FM News, GGGI’s Director General (DG) and former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yvo de Boer, said it was high time the majority of developing and emerging countries move past the green economy rhetoric into action.
“I think that there has been enough theoretical work to fill all the book cases in the world with brilliant academic ideas on green growth, what I want to do is show how it can happen on the ground because at the end of the day the thing that convinces you most is a good success story in practice,” Boer, who assumed the office of GGGI boss in April, explained.
Finance, he said, should also not be used as a reason to delay the implementation of green growth strategies.
“I think that there is enough money out there. I also don’t think that the availability of technology is an issue, there is enough technology out there. The really big challenge is developing good projects that you can take to the bank to mobilise the right technology. So where I want to focus very strongly is working with governments to develop the institutional capacity so that on their priorities, they can develop proposals that they can take to the bank,” he marketed.
Green growth success stories, he said, were already being written in Ethiopia and South America.
“In Ethiopia great work is being done in developing investment vehicles for green cities, green agriculture. In Costa Rica and Guyana there is great experience around preserving forests and giving people a decent livelihood,” he expounded.
Examples that should inspire, he said, the rest of the developing and emerging world to adopt green growth.
“There are still one and a half billion people on this planet who live on less than a dollar a day. Nobody disputes that you need to give those people a better livelihood. The question is, do you give them a better livelihood by following the dirty growth model of the north, or can you find a cleaner path?” he posed.