Opening Session

Day 1: November 27

14.00 - 15.30 

This session will provide the context for the conference as well as an overview of the green transition opportunities through keynote speeches by representatives from international organisations, local governments, the private sector and academia.

Session 1 - Jobs & skills transition management: Strengthening green human capital

16.00 - 17.30 

Many countries, regions and localities have experienced structural changes to their economies with significant employment and distributional impacts. Such transitions have often been part of the dynamic churn of the global economy. From the UK coal mine closures of the 1980s, the winding down of heavy industry sectors such as steel in the US and shipbuilding in Japan, to the digitalisation of today, structural changes with competitiveness and employment impacts have stirred concerns and resistance on the part of affected industries and workers. This session could discuss lessons from past structural changes and consider if they are applicable to today’s green transition. Further, discussion will explore how worker reallocation, redeployment and re-skilling can be promoted, considering e.g. the specific challenges faced by regions whose economics are based on fossil-fuel extraction or on carbon-intensive industries. Also, the role of SMEs could be considered, as well as the gender dimension in the low-carbon transition, e.g. for the predominately male work-force of extractive industries and other carbon-intensive sectors. What are the best approaches to help workers move from declining industries and regions to those with better growth prospects, with accompanying policies to help individuals upgrade their skills and assist lagging regions with catching up? What role for social safety nets and social dialogue to manage the transition and prepare for the future? 

Session 2 - Green growth and competitiveness

firms who win, firms who lose

Day 2: November 28

09.30 - 11.00 

Less stringent or less strictly enforced environmental policies in other jurisdictions, and concerns about the resulting negative competitiveness impacts for domestic firms, are often used by politicians as justification for not introducing more ambitious environmental policies. However, OECD analysis shows that more stringent environmental policies can lead to enhanced productivity gains for more technologically-advanced firms. Moreover, efficient policy design can be a more important determinant of competitiveness impacts than stringency per se.  Similarly, while recent work shows that an increase in relative energy prices has a negative effect on trade flows and foreign direct investment, the scale of these impacts is very small compared with other determinants of trade and investment location choices such as transport costs, proximity to demand or the skill sets of local workers.

Session 3 - Social impacts of the green transition on households


The social and political support for the transition towards a green and low-carbon future depends on whether its costs and benefits are distributed across the society in a fair and transparent manner.  There is increasing evidence that poorer neighbourhoods facing greater exposure to air pollution and other environmental risks. At the same time, low-income households are more vulnerable to, for instance, to higher energy or water prices. This session will discuss recent evidence on how the consequences of both environmental policies and exposure to pollution vary with household income and with other socio-demographic characteristics. The discussion will build on insights, e.g. from energy pricing or subsidy reforms, resource and water pricing and other policies to preserve biodiversity and other natural capital, energy efficiency programs, which may have negative impacts on household budgets or livelihood of communities. The session will also examine how green growth policies could also address poverty reduction. How can cities or local authorities promote a more social inclusion and environmental improvements via – for instance – housing or transport policies? Can they help to meet both inclusive and green objectives?

Parallel sessions - Presentations of selected papers


The Founding Partners of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (OECD, World Bank, UN Environment and the Global Green Growth Institute) have announced the Call for Papers for the Sixth GGKP Annual Conference. The conference sessions will be developed around competitiveness, employment and distributional impacts of green policies. The role of SMEs in this context will also be explored. Panel discussions among academics, policy makers and business, labour and civil society representatives will discuss the selected papers submitted under the following themes:

  1. A. Competitiveness impacts of environmental policies
  2. B. Distributional consequences of environmental policies
  3. C. Green industrial policy
  4. D. Employment implications including development of green skills
  5. E. Sectoral/structural transition management (including labour re-allocation, re-skilling/vocational training)
  6. F. Impacts of the transition to a circular economy
  7. G. First-mover advantage from green policies
  8. H. Behavioural insights in relation to environmental and structural adjustment policies
  9. I. Role of SMEs in the green and “inclusive” transition


Find more information on submission deadlines and the scientific committe.

Session 4 - Special Panel Discussion: Green transition in a post-truth world

How to close the gap between perception and empirical evidence?

Day 3: November 29

11.15 - 12.30 

The final Plenary will consider why there may be gaps between public perceptions and empirical evidence showing that impacts of environmental policies on firm or sectoral competitiveness are rather limited, as suggested by several studies. Furthermore, the discussion will address how countries can advance on the green transition in the “post-truth” era. How can governments do their job of evidence-based policy making to address environmental challenges when citizens doubt the scientific evidence or dismiss expert advice? Understanding the actual preferences of citizens and consumers and therefore their consequent behaviour and choices is critical, and there could be behaviour-informed methods or tools that de-bias existing mechanisms to understand or get closer to “the truth”. 

Closing and GGKP Partner Signing Ceremony

12.30 -13.00 

This final session will provide the opportunity to review policy implications and possible future work for the OECD.

The signing ceremony will involve the 5 GGKP partners as a foresight on their renewed collaboration and strengthening of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform. The GGKP partners will sign a new memorandum of understanding to ensure the continuation of collaboration for the next 5 years, and welcome UNIDO as a new partner organisation.

Draft Agenda (PDF only)



Deadline 20th November 2018 (18h CET)