“It is time for a switch, and the opportunities for switching are enormous.”

Images by Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa and German Technical Agency (GIZ)
Quote by Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of UN Environment

Highlights from the third PAGE Ministerial Conference

10-11 January, South Africa - Cape Town welcomed 500 innovators and leaders from governments, civil society, private sector, development organizations, media and the public for the 3rd Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference, a unique global forum on green economy. Hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa, the conference under the theme Advancing Sustainable and Inclusive Economies, focused on strategies for accelerating the transition to a global green economy.

Unlocking green finance, smoothing the way towards a sustainable future through policies and strategies that promote green economies, social and economic inclusion and sustainable consumption and production were topics that where especially emphasized on.

“There are no jobs on a dead planet.” – Guy Ryder, Director-General of ILO

Several high-level speakers including Elliot Harris, UN Chief Economist, Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of UN Environment, Kimmo Tiilikaiinan, Minister for Environment of Finland, Guy Ryder, Director-General of ILO, and Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International underlined the crucial importance of transitioning to a sustainable, green economy to ensure safe social and economic environments for every single individual.
“We have to turn the crisis of climate change into a serious economic opportunity that really delivers to the poorest of the poor." – Kumi Naidoo


The 2019 Ministerial Conference recognized that the current scale and pace of action is not enough to achieve sustainability but that it is possible for us to radically re-organize the way we produce, consume and invest: finance, investment and systems thinking are key to bringing circularity into our economies. 

We need to focus on economic, social and political inclusion to leave no one behind.
Hence it is crucial to invest equally in social dialogue with labour market institutions, expand social protection, provide incentives to the private sector and provide skills and training. Moreover, education, skills, and awareness building are essential ingredients for meaningful inclusion.
We need to take more effort to create the future of work we want and draw attention to the fact that climate change will fundamentally alter the world of work, and indeed our efforts to ensure human dignity and livelihoods for all. 
Realizing this vision will depend on broad-based partnerships, a stronger multilateral system and effective international cooperation. 

"Inclusion, although it is an abstract concept, is really a multi-dimensional process and not just a stationary event. It involves the social economy, the environmental side and the political side," Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Director and Head of the School of Public Management and Administration at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of Pretoria.

The conference topped off with PAGE delightfully welcoming the five new partner countries: Argentina, Guatemala, India, Indonesia and Kazakhstan. PAGE is excited to see the partnership constantly growing and looking forward to the next Ministerial Conference which will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates in 2020.


Inclusion, action, youth and partnership: these were the most prominent words chosen by participants when asked to best describe the conference – a fitting description of PAGE’s values and mission going forward beyond 2020.

Find out more about the conference here.