Green Growth should be at the heart of development policies, new OECD report says


06/06/2013 - With 7 billion people in the world today and 9 billion by 2050, we must invest in development that will meet the growing demands for food, water and energy. The new OECD publication Putting Green Growth at the Heart of Development suggests that these investments could define a path for inclusive growth and sustainable development by focusing on people’s needs and prospects while respecting the environment. It also gives examples of developing countries’ successful initiatives to do so.


Highlighting the nature of the challenges and opportunities in this field, OECD Secretary General Gurría said: “Putting green growth at the heart of the development agenda requires real political leadership to instill change at international, national and local levels. Our report shows that green growth can offer new opportunities for developing countries. We are looking forward to working with governments and the development co-operation community to reap the benefits of a greener growth path for the well-being of the people in our partner countries.”


To scale up and broaden efforts to green their growth, the report recommends that developing countries mobilise the key coordinating ministries – in particular finance, development planning, and labour – to set clear plans, goals and allocate resources. This has worked well in Cambodia, which adopted a National Green Growth Roadmap that emphasises access to water, agriculture, renewable energy, mobility, finance and investment. In the case of Ethiopia, the goal of its Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy is to increase GDP by 475% by 2030 and to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Other countries are targeting specific elements of green growth. By removing costly and polluting fossil fuel subsidies, and giving cash transfers to low-income households to off-set the higher price of diesel fuel, the Indonesian government, for example, can invest more in health and education, encourage energy efficiency and improve air quality without creating an extra burden for poor people. China’s plan to create green jobs in the forestry sector could employ a million people. In Madagascar, controls on overfishing have lead to larger shrimp, improved market access and higher export prices. The export value of Uganda’s organically certified pineapple, ginger and vanilla almost trebled over 10 years.


International co-operation can also provide essential support to developing countries as they manage the transition to green growth. The report highlights many innovative ways that donors are working closely with partner governments and local stakeholders to promote sustainable business and investment for green growth.  Putting Green Growth at the Heart of Development underlines that the targeted use of aid and development finance can support domestic resource mobilisation and private investment. Strong international markets can also boost trade in green goods and services and technological co-operation can increase the pace of green innovation and tailor it to local needs. 


One year after Rio+20, this OECD report shares early lessons from developing countries and development co-operation on efforts to use inclusive green growth as a means to achieve sustainable development. Working jointly with developing countries and its development co-operation partners, this publication reviews nearly 80 green growth policies and initiatives from 37 developing countries as well as several regional initiatives. 


For further information, journalists can contact Jan Corfee-Morlot in the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate by e-mail or phone: + 331 45 24 79 24


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