[Dateline: Geneva | Author: UN Environment Programme]
The contribution of UN agencies to the global transition to a low-carbon "Green Economy" was the subject of a forum convened by the Environment Management Group (EMG) in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on 23 and 24 March in Washington, D.C.
Fifty representatives of 30 UN agencies and the Bretton Woods Institutions participated in the first meeting of the UN’s Issue Management Group on a Green Economy , many via video and telephone.
The Group launched an assessment of how the UN system could better support countries in making the shift to a low-carbon economy, including options for concrete policies, and reviewed how institutions could contribute to key processes, such as the preparatory process for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development which takes place in 2012 .
The participants also considered how the UN could effectively communicate the relationship between the Green Economy concept and other environment and development initiatives, including the Millennium Development Goals .
The Director of the EMG Secretariat, Ivar Baste said the work of a range of UN agencies already promoting the green economy pathway, both globally and at country level, was also reviewed during the two-day meeting in Washington.
“Within the UN system we’re seeing support for the transition to a Green Economy move from the conceptual stage into an operational stage. Rather than looking at environment versus development we need to consider trade-offs between different intra-generational and inter-generational aspects of human well-being which can be undermined by environmental change,” Mr. Baste said during the closing remarks.
He continued, “This meeting brought together the UN’s collective expertise and we now have a clearer understanding of the different perspectives and dimensions surrounding the Green Economy topic. We know that economics is the currency for public and private sector decision-makers in making the trade-offs.”
About the Environment Management Group
The Environment Management Group (EMG) is a UN system-wide coordination body established to enhance inter-agency cooperation on environmental issues. It is leading the preparation of an inter-agency assessment report on the UN system and the Green Economy due for release in late 2011.
Other issues under consideration by the EMG include cooperation on sustainable management practices, land, biodiversity and environmental and social safeguards.
The UN Environment Programme hosts the EMG Secretariat in Geneva.