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UNEP Releases Green Economy and MDGs Brief

20 September 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has 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 to meet the MDGs.

The report was launched at the UN Summit on the MDGs, convening at UN Headquarters in New York, US, from 20-22 September 2010. The report cites several cases where green strategies have paid multiple dividends in respect to achieving the eight MDGs. Case studies include: China's energy policy, which has fuelled a rise in renewable energy manufacturing and installation; and Nepal's reversal of 1990s deforestation rates through community-based policies, including setting harvesting rules, product prices and the sharing of profits.

The report also concludes that investing and re-investing in forests would assist in meeting the aforementioned MDGs, and also in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked with deforestation. According to the report providing 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 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. [UNEP Press Release] [UNEP Brief for Policymakers]