Up to half a million people could be lifted out of poverty, and 30,000 new jobs created in Senegal, with a switch to a Green Economy, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Green Economy Assessment Study for Senegal (Le Rapport Exploratoire sur l’Economie Verte) was presented at a high-profile event to launch the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a United Nations initiative that will now assist the implementation of green economy policies in Senegal.
“The findings of this study show the enormous opportunity that a green economy transition represents, and that investing further in the environment can support Senegal’s development process, without jeopardizing our future growth,” said Mr Abdoulaye Balde, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development in Senegal.
Huge potential for job creation and poverty reduction
The report was prepared by UNEP in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Centre of Policy Studies for Development under the Ministry of Economy and Finances of Senegal. It finds that increased investment will lead to higher growth, more jobs, and better environmental outcomes than similar investments into business-as-usual (BAU) sectors.
In the report, the growth rate is estimated to be 4.3 per cent under a green economy scenario by 2035, compared to 3.7 per cent in a BAU scenario. This increased growth leads to a substantial reduction in poverty, with less than 20 per cent of the population in poverty by 2035, compared to 24 per cent in the BAU scenario. This is the equivalent of 500,000 people being lifted out of poverty.
In Senegal, agriculture employs 56.7 per cent of the total population. Improvements in production in this sector will, therefore, have a large effect on the economy. Green investments in sustainable agriculture technologies and techniques will prevent soil degradation and lead to an increase in agricultural production 0.5-1.25 per cent higher than BAU by 2035.
In other sectors, such as energy, green investments are expected to bring about an increase in employment. In the renewable energy sector, increased investment could create up to 30,000 new jobs.
A green economy transition also has positive environmental impacts. In terms of CO2, emissions are anticipated to be about 9 per cent lower in green economy scenarios than under BAU (26.7 million tonnes). In addition, improvements are expected in water quality, reduced soil pollution and improved waste management.
The report was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union in the framework of the project “Green economy and social and environmental entrepreneurship”.
Senegal joins Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)
The event in Dakar also marks the start of the PAGE initiative in Senegal. The initiative unites the expertise of UNEP, ILO, UNITAR, UNIDO and UNDP and will promote green industry, trade and jobs, as well as research and institutional capacity building on the green economy.
“The Partnership for Action on Green Economy is a model example of the United Nations System ‘delivering as one’ to support countries move to greener development paths. With five UN organizations working together, the government of Senegal is receiving a coordinated and complementary service, leveraging the expertise of these different agencies,” said Mrs Bintou Djibo, UN Resident Coordinator in Senegal.
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Note to editors
The Partnership for Action on Green Economy is a partnership between UNEP, ILO, UNDP, UNITAR, and UNIDO. It was created in response to the Rio +20 Conference, which called on the United Nations to support interested countries in their transition to greener and more inclusive economies.
Senegal was admitted into PAGE after the inaugural global conference of the PAGE initiative in March 2014 in Dubai. A scoping mission was then carried out by the PAGE agencies from the 2 to 5 June 2014 in Dakar. The mission involved consultations with various stakeholders and resulted in the formulation of a draft action plan outlining PAGE activities in the country.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment in the UN system. Established in 1972, UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
UNEP is an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator promoting the wise use of the planet’s natural assets for sustainable development. It works with many partners, UN entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, business, industry, the media and civil society. UNEP’s work involves providing support for: environmental assessment and reporting; legal and institutional strengthening and environmental policy development; sustainable use and management of natural resources; integration of economic development and environmental protection; and promoting public participation in environmental management.