UNCTAD Convenes Meeting of Experts on the Green Economy
8 October 2010: The UN Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) convened an ad hoc expert meeting to discuss "The Green Economy: Trade and Sustainable Development Implications" from 7-8 October 2010, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
The two-day meeting was framed as an input to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) scheduled to take place in 2012. Opening the meeting, Supachai Panitchpakdi, UNCTAD Secretary-General, underscored the urgency of addressing climate change with a well-designed sharing of the burden. He highlighted that the UN High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, of which he is a member, is discussing a goal of US$100 billion per year to aid developing countries to adapt to and mitigate climate change by 2020. Sha Zukang, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, who is serving as Conference Secretary-General for Rio+20, noted expectations for a green economy to hold the key to faster implementation of sustainable development.
During the meeting, speakers: shared experiences with the history leading up to Rio 1992; presented on framework and progress on UNEP's green economy initiative; reviewed the trade implications of a green economy; and addressed the urgency and challenges of transitioning to a green economy in the context of the impending environmental crisis, using climate change as a case study.
The meeting concluded with some ideas about next steps, including: a continued process of clarifying the concept of a green economy and its trade and sustainable implications; analysis of trends and innovative practices currently underway in the real economy and that point towards the transition to a green economy; and identification of concrete areas where the international community can help foster a smooth transition towards a green economy that respects sustainable development principles and works toward poverty eradication. [UNCTAD Press Release] [Meeting Website] [UNCSD Press Release] [Presentation by Tariq Banuri, DSD Director]