Green Economy Report on the Agenda in Washington D.C.
It was a full house on 9 March 2011 for the biggest North American event to date to focus on UNEP's "Green Economy" report. More than 250 people from academia, the private sector, the NGO community and multilateral organisations, came together at Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington D.C. for a panel discussion on the landmark study, led by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
Joining Mr. Steiner on the panel, which was organised in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation (UNF), were Kate Gordon, Vice President for Energy Policy from the Center for American Progress and Richenda Van Leeuwen, UNF's Senior Director of Energy Access.
UNEP's report, entitled Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, calls for an investment of two per cent of global GDP in 10 key sectors, including energy, agriculture and waste management. The Green Economy report assertively challenges the myth that investing in the environment comes at the expense of economic growth. In fact, the report shows how following a Green Economy model will trigger green growth and create more jobs than a 'business as usual' approach, while using the Earth's resources in a more sustainable way.
Mr. Steiner took the opportunity to emphasize the role governments can play to promote the Green Economy at next year's United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, also known as Rio+20. He explained that the agenda for the conference had not been fully developed, thus presenting governments with a unique opportunity to shape the direction of both international environmental governance and sustainable development: the two key themes of Rio+20.
To see a webcast of the event, visit: www.sais-jhu.edu/pressroom/live.html