Delivering on Sustained and Sustainable Growth

New York, 7 July 2015 - The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) hosted a well-attended side event at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development entitled "Delivering on Sustained and Sustainable Growth: PAGE and National Initiatives for Inclusive Green Economy".

The side event showcased recent efforts from a range of countries and practitioners in building inclusive green economies, and examined how new partnerships like PAGE can serve as implementation mechanisms for the emerging Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event also saw the launch of the new PAGE website.

Panellists included Dr. Sanjaasuren Oyun, President of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and Member of Parliament of Mongolia; Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP); Mr. Tlou Ramaru, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa; Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) New York Office; Mr. Hans Stielstra, Directorate-General for the Environment, European Commission; Vinicius Pinheiro, Deputy Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Office for the United Nations, New York; and PAGE partners Asad Naqvi, Acting Head, Green Economy Advisory Services Unit at UNEP; and Tim Scott, Policy Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York,.

In her opening speech, Dr. Sanjaasuren Oyun emphasised that in order to achieve the SDGs, economic policies have to be reframed around sustainability. She also shared with the meeting Mongolia’s experience working with PAGE, which has helped to develop the Green Development Strategy and is now focused on providing support for its implementation.

Mr. Tlou Ramaru pointed out the links between an Inclusive Green Economy and many of the SDGs, in particular sustainable consumption and production. South Africa has selected a number of sectors to advance its transition to an Inclusive Green Economy, including transportation, building, energy, waste management, and agriculture. In the renewable energy sector, South Africa is working with independent power producers and to date, 64 projects have been awarded a combined total investment of 14 billion Rand with a generation capacity of 3,922MW.

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar highlighted the added value that regional commissions can bring to connect the global agenda with national implementation, and how a focus on the social dimensions of a Green Economy will help reduce poverty and address inequalities.

Mr. Hans Stielstra indicated that moving to more efficient use of resources represents an opportunity for diversification and increased competitiveness and will promote economic growth, whilst also delivering efficiency gains. He underscored that during the recent financial crisis the best performing sector in the EU was "environmental industry".