Green growth and sustainable development

Towards Green Growth in Southeast Asia



In the context of the 2012 East Asia Climate Partnership (EACP) programme, the OECD has engaged in a 2-year horizontal project to help promote green growth in ASEAN countries in line with the region’s development objectives. Building on the OECD expertise on green growth, this work will follow up on the OECD Green Growth framework and the OECD Development Strategy which will be tailored to the specificities of ASEAN economies.     


Thumbnail of book cover Towards Green Growth in Southeast Asia

The report Towards Green Growth in Southeast Asia, was launched on 11 November 2014 at the Asia Low Emissions Development Strategies Forum in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
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Southeast Asia’s booming economy offers tremendous growth potential, but also large and interlinked economic, social and environmental challenges.  The region’s current growth model is based in large part on natural resource exploitation, exacerbating these challenges. This report provides evidence that, with the right policies and institutions, Southeast Asia can pursue green growth and thus sustain the natural capital and environmental services, including a stable climate, on which prosperity depends. 

Carried out in consultation with officials and researchers from across the region, Towards Green Growth in Southeast Asia provides a framework for regional leaders to design their own solutions to move their countries towards green growth. 

Thumbnail photo of Towards Green Growth for Southeast Asia summary

While recognising the pressures that Southeast Asian economies face to increase growth, fight poverty and enhance well-being, the report acknowledges the links between all these dimensions and underscores the window of opportunity that the region has now to sustain its wealth of natural resources, lock-in resource-efficient and resilient infrastructure, attract investment, and create employment in the increasingly dynamic and competitive sectors of green technology and renewable energy.

Some key policy recommendations are that these challenges can be met by scaling up existing attempts to strengthen governance and reform countries’ economic structure; mainstreaming green growth into national development plans and government processes; accounting for the essential ecosystem services provided by natural capital, ending open-access natural resource exploitation; and guiding the sustainable growth of cities to ensure well-being and prosperity.



Synthesis paper: “What have we learned from attempts to introduce green growth policies?”, published in the OECD Green Growth Papers series in 2013.

The paper discusses green growth instruments, policy frameworks and indicators. Relying on both country-specific and cross-country analyses undertaken at the OECD, it seeks to draw lessons applicable to green growth policies from experience in OECD countries and elsewhere. Key conclusions of the paper are:  i) Green growth policies are likely to have beneficial welfare effects in the long-term, but short-term transition costs have hampered their implementation; ii) The main challenges implementing green growth frameworks relate to coordinating policies and developing indicators and instruments to monitor progress; iii) Innovation is key to foster green growth and could be encouraged by a mix of policies; and iv) Countries are concentrating more and more effort to invest in resilient infrastructure and adaptation policies but additional public and private financing needs to be mobilised. 

 Overview of key dates: 

11 November 2014 Launch of the report Towards Green Growth in Southeast Asia and the database of green growth indicators for Southeast Asian countries.
12-13 June 2014 Regional workshop with ASEAN countries' representatives and stakeholders in the region to discuss preliminary conclusions of the Towards Green Growth in Southeast Asia report.
March 2013 Publication of the synthesis paper: “What have we learned from attempts to introduce green growth policies?”.

Related work and publications: 

Putting Green Growth at the Heart of Development

This book presents evidence that green growth is the only way to sustain growth and development over the long-term. Green growth does not replace sustainable development, but is a means to achieve it. Green growth values natural assets, which are essential to the well-being and livelihoods of people in developing countries, and if policies are designed to respond to the needs of the poorest, green growth can contribute to poverty reduction and social equity.

Putting Green Growth at the Heart of Development

Towards Green Growth

The Green Growth Strategy, outlined in this book, provides concrete recommendations and measurement tools to support countries’ efforts to achieve economic growth and development, while at the same time ensure that natural assets continue to provide the ecosystem services on which our well being relies. The strategy proposes a flexible policy framework that can be tailored to different country circumstances and stages of development. 

 ‌Towards Green Growth

Green Growth in Cities

This report synthesises the findings from six case studies of urban green growth policies, four at city level (Paris, Chicago, Stockholm, Kitakyushu) and two at the national level (China, Korea). It offers a definition of urban green growth and a framework for analysing how it might play out in different types of cities. It demonstrates the importance of urban policies for achieving national environmental policy goals and discusses the increased efficiency of policy intervention at the urban level.

 Green Growth in Cities

Southeast Asian Energy Outlook 2013 

The ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are – along with China and India – shifting the centre of gravity of the global energy system to Asia. Southeast Asia is an extremely diverse set of countries with vast differences in the scale and patterns of energy use and energy resource endowments.  This special report, in the World Energy Outlook series, assesses the prospects for Southeast Asia’s energy future as well as the implications for regional and global energy  markets and policy making. 


Southeast Asian Economic Outlook 2013 with Perspectives on China and India (SAEO)

An annual publication which focuses on the economic conditions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries. It provides an update of regional economic trends and policy challenges, a thematic focus which varies in each volume and country specific structural policy notes. The SAEO 2013 focuses on narrowing the development gap in the region focusing on disparities “among” and “within” Southeast Asian countries.

Southeast Asian Economic Outlook 2010

For more information contact: 

M. Pisu, Project Leader, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, Phone: +33 1 45 24 87 04, Email: [email protected]

A. Robert, Policy Analyst, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, Phone: +33 1 45 24 83 19, Email: [email protected]

J. Corfee-Morlot, Head, Climate Change, Environment and Development Programme and DAC ENVIRONET Co-ordinator, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, Phone: + 33 1 45 24 79 24, Email: [email protected]

N. Girouard, Green Growth and Sustainable Development Coordinator, OECD Environment Directorate, Phone: + 33 1 45 24 84 82, Email: [email protected]