Partnership for Action on a Green Economy Holds Inaugural Meeting
5 March 2014: The inaugural meeting of the UN-led Partnership for Action on a Green Economy (PAGE) explored national pathways and policies for the green economy, and provide guidance to governments on achieving a green economy transition. Over 30 ministers and high-level officials from more than two dozen countries met with UN officials, international experts, representatives from the business community and civil society.
The meeting was intended to inform other fora, including the process on the post-2015 development agenda and the first UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) convening in June 2014. Discussions addressed, inter alia: green and decent jobs; fiscal policy and investments; green industrial policies; social inclusion and poverty eradication; trade policies and opportunities; and metrics and indicators for inclusive green economies.
In an address to the meeting, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said shifting investments will be key to meeting the Partnership's goal to support green economy transitions in 30 countries by 2020. He stressed the Partnership's relevance to the post-2015 development agenda, noting, "The time has now come to ensure that by 2015—when the UN Millennium Development Goals transcend into the Sustainable Development Goals—the global community has the strategies and the policies in place to fully integrate nature into economic planning and accounting." He added that addressing poverty requires various means of implementation, effective governance and mutually beneficial partnerships at all levels. Underpinning those elements, he said, is sustaining the "natural capital upon which any form of development relies."
Outcomes of the event included: US$11 million in pledges from Finland, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and others to jump-start PAGE activities; and the signing of an agreement between UNEP and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to cooperate on urgent environmental issues, including the implementation of UAE's Vision 2021 and Green Growth Strategy. Under the agreement, UNEP will offer consultations on environmental reports, assist with capacity-building for institutions and local communities, and help implement projects and programmes in a variety of areas, namely climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, governance, harmful substances and hazardous waste, and resource efficiency and environment.
The UAE hosted the event in Dubai, from 4-5 March 2014. PAGE was launched in 2013 by UNEP, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), responding to countries' demands for help in implementing green economy policies and best practices. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is slated to join the initiative. [UNEP Press Release on PAGE Meeting] [UNEP Press Release on UAE-UNEP Agreement] [PAGE Website] [UNITAR Press Release]