Green growth and sustainable development

OECD Green Growth Newsletter May 2012 (Issue Fourteen)



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


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OECD at Rio+20: Side events

Tailoring green growth strategies to country circumstances: practical steps towards achieving sustainable development 

The OECD is pleased to announce that it will be holding a side-event at the Rio+20 Conference on 21 June, 17:00-18:30, in the RioCentro Conference Centre. The side-event will feature a dialogue between the OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría, representatives from the Governments of Colombia, Korea, Mexico and the United Kingdom, as well as from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance on how green growth reforms can contribute to sustainable development.

During the Rio+20 Conference, the OECD will also showcase a consultation draft of its Green Growth and Developing Countries Report. This will include a half-day consultation with policymakers from developing countries at the Pontificia Universidade Católica on 17 June, 11:00-16:00. This technical level discussion will be complemented by a high-level event at the EU Pavilion on 22 June, 14:30-16:30. These events offer the OECD an opportunity to engage developing countries on green growth. Participants will be encouraged to react to the content of the report and highlight knowledge gaps and technical difficulties as well as potential solutions, in pursuing national green growth strategies. The OECD is also interested in working with participants to shape a green growth agenda that is feasible and practical and helps developing countries to achieve sustainable development. More information: 

Development Assistance Committee Statement to Rio+20

The OECD Development Assistance Committee met at senior level on 3-4 April 2012 in Paris and issued a Policy Statement for Rio+20 supporting developing countries’ pursuit of greener and more inclusive growth:


"We […] pledge to strengthen our collaboration to address new and emerging challenges and promote economic and social transformation for sustainable development. We are fully committed to the three pillars of sustainable development, through our support for social development, economic growth and environment protection and we will contribute to the delivery of clear and significant outcomes from the Rio+20 Conference by building a post-2015 global development framework on the successful example of and lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

Focus on green growth and water

According to the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction, global water demand is projected to increase by 55% between 2000 and 2050, and tensions could increase as domestic users, manufacturing, electricity generation and other economic sectors compete with agriculture for access to resources. Green growth policies in the water sector need to address both quantity and quality issues, encourage water-related innovation and investment in green infrastructures, and they need to be integrated with policies in sectors that have an impact on water availability and use - especially agriculture, energy, and land use. Sustainable financing, effective governance and policy coherence are key. Read more about green growth and water


Green growth in action: Mexico

Mexico has taken action on a number of fronts to implement green growth policies, including integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation plans into their National Development Plan, and implementing energy price schemes that reflect the opportunity costs of consumption.


Mexico is also developing its green growth indicators, using the OECD set of green growth indicators proposed in “Towards Green Growth: Monitoring Progress – OECD Indicators.” The Mexican presidency of the G20 has made green growth one of their top priorities.


Read more about green growth in Mexico.  

13 October 2011: Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General and Rafael Elvira, Minister of Environment, Mexico. Photo: OECD

Greening the OECD

The OECD Secretariat is committed to investing time and resources into improving its environmental performance using some of the policy recommendations of the Green Growth Strategy.  

The organisation-wide Greening@ OECD project deals with all actions related to the organisations’ environmental performance, from buildings management to travel.  In 2011, one of the Secretariat’s main buildings was certified with “La Haute Qualité Environnementale” certificate (HQE), the French Environmental Certificate for Buildings. The certificate is built around 14 indicators on areas such as energy consumption, air quality, and the natural environment around the buildings.


In order to pass the yearly audits of the HQE certificate in the future, the Secretariat is committed to continuously improving the building’s environmental performance. A process to obtain the HQE certificate for all the other main buildings is also underway.

Recent event: Global Green Growth Summit

On 10-11 May, the Global Green Growth Summit 2012 on “Global Governance for Green Growth and the Green Economy” took place in Seoul, Korea. The Summit was hosted by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Government of the Republic of Korea, in partnership with the OECD, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Bank.  


Sessions included the following topics: water; agriculture and land use; sustainable energy; the Green Growth Knowledge Platform; international architecture for green technology and innovation; policy and capacity building support for developing countries; and ocean and fisheries cooperation.


At the meeting, the GGGI and OECD held a joint consultation on green growth and developing countries, to discuss draft chapters from the OECD Green Growth and Developing Countries report, before the consultation draft is released at the Rio+20 conference. The Summit was also an occasion for the GGKP to discuss countries’ needs in terms of knowledge, tools and data, in particular focusing on the three research proposals emerging from GGKP’s initial consultations, namely innovation and green technologies, indicators and metrics and trade and competitiveness.

Recent publications

>>Further reading


May/June key events

  • 22 May: G20 Seminar on green growth, co-organised by the Mexican G20 Presidency and OECD, Paris. 

  • 22-24 May: OECD Week, including the OECD Forum 2012 and OECD Council meeting at ministerial level.

  • 29 May: The rise of the bio-based economy. Roundtable organised by the Greening Europe Forum at Friends of Europe. Brussels, Belgium.

  • 30 May - 01 June: Green ICT for Growth and Sustainability? Linking Science and Policy, conference organised by the Research Institute for Managing Sustainability, Vienna University of Economics and Business.  Vienna, Austria.

  • 7 June: Monitoring Progress towards Green Growth in Latin America, workshop on indicators, co-organised by OECD and UNIDO with the collaboration of UNEP, Paris.

  • 11 / 12 June: International Workshops: Indicators of Local Transition to Low-Carbon Economy. Ghent, Belgium / Belval, Luxembourg

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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