Green industrial policy can guide economies towards a more sustainable future

9 December 2017, Beijing, China – How can countries across the socioeconomic spectrum restructure their economies towards sustainability while also improving the prosperity of their people?

Well-defined and consistent policy programmes that enhance productivity and bring about environmental, social and economic co-benefits are at the heart of transitioning to green economies, a new UN publication finds.

The joint report “Green Industrial Policy: Concepts, Policies, Country Experiences” by The German Development Institute (DIE) and UN Environment, in the framework of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), discusses the conceptual foundations of ‘Green Industrial Policy’ and presents specific policy reforms that may help to balance environmental sustainability and wealth creation. By redefining the parameters of industrial policy to include ecological and resource efficiency measures, the report offers guidance to policy-makers and researchers alike, offering a comprehensive set of tools, case studies and recommendations for action.

The report finds that the private sector and consumers also benefit from green industrial policies. "Ultimately this is not just about green business. It's about good business," says Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment. Examples from the report show that pursuing green industrial policy offers opportunities for creating employment, enhancing competitiveness, and promoting resource-efficient production systems.

This is of particular interest in developing countries, where the negative outcomes of business-as-usual “brown economy” practices are disproportionately felt. Yet, it is timely for these countries to embark on a green economy transition, since they have not yet been locked into resource-intensive and polluting development trajectories. The report emphasizes that poor countries must not postpone environmental protection, as this will negatively impact human wellbeing, innovation and future competitiveness in a world economy that focuses on green technology.

The report concludes that governments in all countries, poor and rich, are now required to develop proactive policies with long-term visions and clear roadmaps to promote a green transition. "The practical and concrete examples of green industrial policy set out in this report are a basis for the expansion of this economic model, and I hope that this report will inform and inspire decision makers in the private sector and government to join the shift," says Solheim.

The report will be launched on December 9, 2017 in Beijing.

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Notes to Editors
The full Green Industrial Policy report can be downloaded here.

Information about the book launch event can be downloaded here.

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Verena Balke, Economy and Fiscal Policy Unit, Resources and Markets Branch, UN Environment: verena.balke@un.org
Claudia Assmann, Programme Officer, Economy and Fiscal Policy Unit, Resources and Markets Branch, UN Environment: claudia.assmann@un.org

New publication: Green Industrial Policy. Concept, Policies, Country Experiences