Green growth is driven by the right financial instruments. Where does the Partnership for Action on Green Economy fit in the picture? Now more than ever, the race is on to deliver greener, inclusive growth. Doing so requires all kinds of parties; governments to businesses, policymakers and financiers to read from the same hymn sheet. Introducing the UN Partnership for Action.
Launched in 2013 as a response to the call at Rio+20 to support those countries wishing to embark on greener and more inclusive growth trajectories, the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) seeks to put sustainability at the heart of economic policies and practices to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On the technical side, PAGE brings together five UN agencies; UN Environment, International Labour Organisation, UN Development Programme, UN Industrial Development Organisation, and the UN Institute for Training and Research.
Combined, the idea is that these offer integrated and holistic support to countries on their inclusive green economies, ensuring coherence and avoiding duplication. PAGE is also there to coordinate what can at times be a plethora of UN actions on green economy and to assist countries in achieving and monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 8: ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.’
So that’s the background, but should future-looking businesses care? What more is there for corporates to learn about PAGE and how it affects them?
Turning the PAGEs
Global states have to hit a number of criteria to be welcomed into the PAGE community. They then receive direct support from PAGE to advance their green economy policies and projects. That support, financial, is what will make corporates sit up.
Then, the money dripping down across the private and public sectors, charity and additional partner businesses gets growth happening on the ground.
Countries including Peru, Mongolia, Senegal, Brazil, China and Africa are all part of this global transformational community, plus more countries are taking up the challenge.
Perhaps the most telling way for businesses to understand where green opportunities lie through PAGE is to read the future strategies in full.
This can be an onerous task but thankfully, your correspondent is here to do this for you. To 2025, PAGE has four key strategies that corporates should be seeking to align with. They include; foster long term prosperity and economic growth, create income and jobs, reduce poverty and inequality and strengthen the ecological foundations of the global economy.
These are all positive goals and embedding them within business development plans should enable corporates to align well with green business opportunities. It’s also worth understanding the scale of PAGE. It pulled in $76 million in contributions to 2019 and partners with 217 national institutions, with some 43 co-financing initiatives in place.
The point is there’s a lot of green action to get involved with. In more detail, PAGE’s immediate plans include extending services for policy and capacity-building aimed at deeper economic reframing in 30 countries by 2030.
In addition to the focus on macroeconomic and sectoral policy, PAGE will assist countries to catalyse finance for a just transition, build capacity to measure their progress, and implement national communication strategies to catalyse public support and behavioural change.
By the end of 2025, the target is that up to ten new countries will join PAGE through an open and competitive process too. Getting into well understood sustainability details, PAGE’s new strategy argues that increasing evidence demonstrates that making economies inclusive and sustainable is not a linear process.
Contrastingly, different challenges emerge along the development path, including discovery of minerals, fossil fuel and other resources that require readjustment of the development and economic frameworks and the creation of innovative institutional and financial mechanisms. Fossil fuels remain to be discovered in many parts of the world but the key is using the right approaches to keep them in the ground.
Increasing migration induced by climate change, environmental scarcities and risks or lack of employment opportunities in the countries of origin, among other issues, also demand a collective response by governments and businesses.
Despite such challenges, PAGE also looks to the future with promise. It notes that there remains an unprecedented opportunity in the sustainability challenges that our world is facing today, commenting we can stabilise the ecological foundation of our economies, reform industrial and natural resource sectors, revamp the financial systems and, most importantly, create an economy and future world that is socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable and rich in job opportunities and growth.
Especially important; investing more in the green economy can advance an inclusive future of work, because environmental degradation disproportionately affects vulnerable populations and low-income countries.
Major investment and innovation opportunities await in renewable energy and environmentally sustainable construction and retrofitting, with significant job creation and reskilling impacts. Micro, small and medium sized enterprises, says PAGE, are especially important partners in designing local adaptations to climate change.