A step ahead and a way forward to green, inclusive and smart growth

Yvo de Boer,
Director General, Global Green Growth Institute, Republic of Korea

The time when developing countries thought of environmental issues as something only the North needed and could afford to worry about is well behind us. A number of trends are driving this. Global issues such as climate, energy, food, water, material prices and the impacts of aging, urbanization and wealth increase are all affecting the economic, social and environmental prospects of countries around the world. At the same time, the impact of these trends and our response to them is having an increasingly global impact. These impacts are driving us to change business practices because of external pressures and new opportunities. Changing consumer behavior and demands and industry response to those changing preferences, as well as policy change, is already impacting supply chains in an increasingly inter-connected world. For instance, in 2012, Walmart announced its new commitments to drive sustainability deeper into the company’s global supply chain and this initiative impacted 200 thousand suppliers globally.

On a different note, aggressive action to address climate change would represent significant global market opportunities for countries like China and India that are on the cusp of the technologies we need for climate action.

The Global Green Growth Institute, the organization I work for is a member-based international organization delivering 37 green growth programming in 22 countries, including in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. In Colombia, we are supporting its government in establishing a US$ 65 million payment for a performance fund aimed at addressing deforestation in the country and in Ethiopia, we work closely with its government to implement the Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy, which would ultimately attract and deploy capital. What unifies these countries is their desire to find a different pathway to social, economic and environmental prosperity. They are committed to transition to a pathway that will allow them to cope with negative externalities, while turning positive ones to their advantage.

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