PAGE launches in Argentina with a High-level event gathering 160 participants

16-17 May 2019 - The Partnership for Action on Green Economy together with the Argentine Government, through the Ministry of Production and Labor, the Secretariat of the Government of Environment and Sustainable Development, begins its activities in Argentina to enable the country’s transition towards green economy, leaving no one behind. The program will last four years and focus on a green and fair transition towards green economy that will generate opportunities, improve competitiveness and productivity, promote decent work and gender equality and protect the most vulnerable populations.

The inception mission lasted three days including: a High-level launch, a Partnership workshop to identify strategies and partners and an Inception Workshop to determine objectives, products, activities, indicators and partners.

The two-day event featured face-to-face consultations between PAGE agencies, government representatives and key stakeholders to identify needs and demands, and ensure the national commitment and ownership of PAGE. Around 160 participants from all sectors involved, including trade unions, businesses chambers, the financial sector, several state agencies at the three levels of government (national, provincial and local), Organizations of Civil Society, Reseach and Development, as well as several programs of the United Nations system attended the event.

Thought several round of consultations and workshops, participants determined PAGE activities in the country during this initial phase and unchained the debate with a long-term perspective, also taking into account other programs that are currently being implemented by the PAGE partners, agencies of the UN and other development partners in the country.

The Secretary of Industry of the Ministry of Production and Labor, Fernando Grasso, said:

"PAGE is an opportunity for development that can generate a lot of quality employment within the framework of the Industry 4.0 revolution." He also noted that "the PAGE alliance is launched in Argentina with the aim of promoting public policies towards a green and inclusive economy, the work that is being promoted in the field of Circular Economy from the Ministry of Production and Labor".

Carlos Gentile, Secretary of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, stressed that:

"The most interesting thing about this project is that it is a platform that allows ordering many different efforts for the good of the country and that there is a transformation towards a green economy"  The official added that "to achieve the objectives of the initiative, social dialogue is fundamental, involving government institutions, employers, workers, the science and technology sector, civil society and development partners such as development banks, South-South and bilateral cooperation. "

Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Argentina, René Mauricio Valdés, expressed the importance that the system can join forces and provide joint solutions without overlapping, as is being promoted by the reform of the United Nations at present, "I am very happy that, as United Nations agencies, we can unite in this effort in a key year for the fight against Climate Change", he added.

The high level event closed with remarks by Secretary of State of Environment and Sustainable Development Sergio Bergman who unbderlined that:

"The concept of green economy is not yet internalized in Argentina, Laws that sustain the green economy from the fiscal point of view are needed, to emphasize that the initiative requires an accompaniment of the finance and economy portfolios. The solution must be to develop ourselves in a sustainable manner. If we want a green economy, we must have regulations in the fields of rewards and punishments, because the economy does not work with good intentions, it works with incentives." said Bergman, adding that "this is why, within the concept of green economy, it is so important to us not leaving anyone behind. For that to happen, generate green work, generate social inclusion, not discard people as we discard goods, and at the same time, generate new rules of the game of the economy, because until the economy changes, we will not be able to make also profitable what is sustainable ".

PAGE Argentina is expected to strengthen the country Green Economy Governance by improving and integrating information and facilitating the decision making on green economy, to accompany the labor markets in a Just Transition by adapting professional formation systems and the occupational change, as well as launching processes that promote sustainable productive development through the capacities building and the leveraging of public and private investment for technological innovation.