GGGI Conference discusses ways to find a creative economic model

The Global Green Growth Institute hosted an International Conference on November 19 that focused on ways to harness creativity and innovation in formulating green growth actions. 

The daylong conference, titled The Nexus Between The Creative Economy and Green Growth, featured dignitaries and experts from around the world, including former Indonesian President, Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Mary Robinson, United Nations Secretary General Special Envoy on Climate Change. Participants of the Conference focused on three drivers of both green growth and creative economy: technology, finance, and inclusiveness.

GGGI Director-General, Yvo de Boer, opened the conference noting that while the “brown model” of economic growth that much of the world has adopted has been very successful in achieving strong economic growth, it has come at a great cost, such as carbon emissions growth, food insecurity, biodiversity loss, and economic inequality.

“In a world where natural resources are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive, the challenge is to find an economic model that is more creative –that focuses not on creating wealth but focuses on creating prosperity for a rapidly changing population –one that is increasingly aging and urbanizing,” said Mr de Boer at the conference’s opening plenary.

President Yudhoyono, who was recently named as President of the GGGI Assembly and Chair of the Council gave opening remarks at the conference. In his speech he also recognized the formidable challenges the world faces and that fresh ideas and bold actions are required to face them.

“For green growth to materialize, countries need creative solutions –in financing, technology development and transfer, and development cooperation as well as sharing knowledge and experience,” President Yudhoyono said.

The President went on to commend the Republic of Korea for its creative actions in this regard.

For her part, Mrs. Robinson, who was a keynote speaker, focused on the notion that creating an inclusive, low carbon growth society means fostering decent jobs and livelihoods, improving equality, including gender equality, and expanding people’s access to sustainable energy and affordable, nutritious food. In order to do so global political leadership is essential as is catalyzing action at scale.

“While individual green economy projects are becoming increasingly attractive for finance, these are not yet catalyzing the national scale or industry-wide transitions that we need to see in every country and industry in the world,” said Mrs. Robinson.

Conference participants spent the day discussing what actions and approaches should be taken to meet the challenges and creatively pursue green growth policies.

On the need for green growth leadership, it was generally agreed that partnerships that unite key players from different sectors are essential. Innovative partnerships can help build capacity in localities where expertise and experience are lacking. Mechanisms can be created to aggregate demands and link them to international institutions that can then assist with financing and implementation of innovative green growth policies and projects.

There was much discussion around climate finance. Participants unanimously agreed there is ample funding available. The issue is government readiness and whether they have created an environment that minimizes risks for investors. Similarly on technology, governments need to provide legal and regulatory certainty in order to encourage investment and development of green technologies.

On social inclusion, there was a call for a more cohesive method to measure inclusion and hold countries accountable for an international social inclusion agenda.

This Conference comes on the heels of GGGI Assembly and Council meetings, held on November 18, where they approved GGGI’s new five-year strategic plan. The strategy begins to shift GGGI’s focus to least developed countries (LDCs), to working increasingly in Member countries, and to developing bankable projects on the ground.

Also, on November 18, the United Kingdom signed an agreement with GGGI to provide the organization with £14.8 million (roughly $23 million) over the next three years.

“The strategic plan will lead us to focus much more strongly on Member countries and the least developed countries as well as renewed focus on collaboration with international institutions. The plan is the result of a very rigorous consultation exercise that has taken place over the past 6 months with all of our Members,” said Mr. de Boer.

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