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UNEP Releases Brief on Green Economy and MDGs

20 September 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released "A Brief for Policymakers on the Green Economy and Millennium Development Goals" (MDGs), which concludes that investment in clean energy, sustainable transport, forests and environmentally-friendly agriculture is essential for meeting the MDGs. The brief was launched at the UN Summit on the MDGs, convening from 20-22 September 2010, in New York, US.

The brief cites several cases where green strategies have paid multiple dividends in respect to the eight MDGs. Case studies include China's energy policy, which has fueled a rise in renewable energy manufacturing and installation, and Nepal's reversal of 1990s deforestation rates through community-based policies, including the setting of harvesting rules and product prices, and the sharing of profits.

The report concludes that investing and re-investing in forests would assist in meeting the aforementioned MDGs, as well as reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked with deforestation. It underscores that clean energy underpins the success of many of the Goals, directly in terms of sustainable development, and indirectly if climate change is left unaddressed. The report also recommends that subsidies be redirected from fossil fuels to renewable energy technologies, suggesting this would trigger new kinds of employment, faster access to electricity and greater social equity. [Publication: Green Economy: A Brief for Policymakers on the Green Economy and Millennium Development Goals] [UNEP Press Release]