Green growth and sustainable development

OECD Green Growth Newsletter April 2012 (Issue Thirteen)



The OECD Green Growth Newsletter keeps OECD Committees and other stakeholders informed about the OECD’s green growth activities.


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Environment Ministers’ Statement to Rio+20

OECD Environment Ministers met on 29-30 March 2012 in Paris under the theme "Making Green Growth Deliver". They discussed future priorities for action based on the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction, which makes a strong case for green growth policies. The session on Adding OECD Value to Rio+20 saw active debate by countries, and Ministers agreed on the clear importance of focussing on inclusive green growth, to ensure that social inclusion and equity concerns are central parts of the debate leading up to and at Rio+20, to help bridge the gap between countries.


Ministers highlighted that green growth is a practical means for achieving many of the goals of sustainable development, including poverty eradication. OECD countries, the Russian Federation and Colombia have adopted a policy statement supporting the ongoing work of the OECD on green growth, and welcoming the contribution that it makes to discussions at the Rio+20 Conference.

Photo: OECD/Andrew Wheeler

Focus on green investment

Green growth means making investment in the environment a driver for economic growth. Green growth requires a shift in both public and private investments, with the limited public funds available carefully targeted and accompanied by the right policy frameworks to help leverage private financing.


OECD work on investment policies for green growth has found that greening growth will require policies to establish network infrastructure suitable for next generation technologies, especially in energy, transport, water and communications. Leveraging public and private financing through public-private partnerships, a mixture of tariffs and taxes, facilitating investment by major institutional partners by reforming regulatory barriers and through sound long-term policy signals, and development assistance will be necessary given the large-scale investments required in most countries. It will also be important to remove any unnecessary barriers to investment in green infrastructure, goods or services.


The OECD is helping countries improve domestic conditions to mobilise investment in support of green growth objectives. To this end, it now also analyses countries’ “green” investment policy frameworks in a special chapter of Investment Policy Reviews. The first such chapter features in the Investment Policy Review of Colombia, just released. The forthcoming Investment Policy Reviews of Tunisia, Jordan and Malaysia will all include similar chapters.

Green growth in action: The Netherlands

In October 2011 the Government of the Netherlands launched their Sustainability Agenda to examine how key sectors can help the country attain greener growth. For example, the Green Deal programme aims to involve the private sector in the green transition. To this end, the government has set agreements with the Dutch Dairy Organisation and the Dutch Agricultural and Horticultural Organisation to have zero-carbon emissions in dairy chains by 2020. By removing harmful regulations, Green Deals help to strengthen private initiatives.


The Netherlands was the first country to apply the OECD set of green growth indicators proposed in Towards Green Growth: Monitoring Progress – OECD Indicators, to produce Green Growth in the Netherlands. The main conclusions of this report highlighted that the indicators related to the environmental efficiency of production showed increased efficiency while the indicators of the natural asset base provided a mixed picture. While the indicators of the environmental quality of life need to be further developed, the only available indicator, the one on pollution-induced health problems, showed a slightly positive trend.

Read more about green growth in action in the Netherlands.


Green Growth Knowledge Platform update

  • Job Opportunity: The Green Growth Knowledge Platform is recruiting a full-time Platform Manager. Applications close 27 April.
  • The outcomes of the inaugural conference in January 2012 are now available on the Green Growth Knowledge Platform website.

Korea releases its Indicators Report on Green Growth

Korea has become the third country to issue a report using the proposed OECD set of green growth indicators. The report by Statistics Korea, Korea’s Green Growth: Based on OECD Green Growth Indicators, applies 23 indicators to evaluate the implementation of Korea’s green growth policies since 2000.


The report shows that environmental and resource productivity, including CO2 emissions productivity, energy productivity and domestic material consumption intensity has improved since 2000. It shows that the decoupling of environmental pressures from economic growth is under way but recent years could have seen better performance.


Among the indicators from the natural asset base, water resources are insufficient, and the area of forest and wooded land has consistently decreased. Despite these decreases, timber stock and biological resources have steadily increased. Indicators on the environmental quality of life, including the share of population connected to sewage treatment and with access to safe drinking water, urban green space, and population exposure to urban air pollution have been improving since 2000. Finally, the group of indicators on the economic opportunities and policy responses, including R&D expenditure related to green growth and the share of green ODA, are rapidly improving. In general, the assessment shows that Korea is moving towards a greener economy.



Upcoming event: Energy for Africa


On 25 April, the OECD and IEA will host the 18th Africa Partnership Forum in Paris. Overall, Africa is a net energy exporter, but nearly 60% of the population lacked access to electricity in 2009. The UN has declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. The theme of the meeting is "Energy for Africa" and sessions will focus on the global energy outlook and the implications for Africa; Energy for all: the challenge in Africa; Low carbon and climate resilient energy: the opportunities in Africa; Africa’s energy priorities in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and the MDB Infrastructure Action Plan.

Recent event: Post-2015 Development Goals

On 10-11 April, the OECD co-hosted a workshop on “Post-2015 Development Goals: Designing Targets and Indicators”, with the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The “Bellagio Group”, a worldwide consortium of leading think tanks, has proposed targets and indicators for potential successor goals to the Millennium Development Goals.  Drawing on OECD expertise on the measurement of indicators and dimensions of well-being, the OECD has been invited to comment on these proposals in each of the twelve goal areas proposed: poverty reduction, food & water, universal literacy, healthier lives, violence & vulnerability, gender equality, environmental sustainability, universal connectivity, disaster reduction, political & civil rights, global governance and equitable economic rules.

© Hemera/Thinkstock 

Recent publications

>>Further reading


April/May key events

For more information, see the green growth events calendar

Accessing the International Green Growth Dialogue site for the first time  


If you have access problems, please email Catherine Jeffcoat,

Contact us


Nathalie Girouard, Green Growth and Sustainable Development Coordinator,

OECD Green Growth website | International Green Growth Dialogue site



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