28 April 2021
P4G from Copenhagen to Seoul: Accelerating Partnerships Towards SDGs, Paris Agreement
Photo Credit: Carlos Delgado
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P4G’s inaugural Summit took convened from 19-20 October 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the theme, ‘Accelerating Partnerships’.

The 2018 P4G Copenhagen Summit sought to form a global coalition for sustainable growth through innovative partnerships, paying special attention to cities “as increasingly important centers of economic activity”.

The ‘Copenhagen Commitment to Action’ highlights the need for leadership from government, business, and civil society to accelerate action towards a better and more sustainable future that can drive inclusive growth.

Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) – an incubator and accelerator of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to reach the “mutually reinforcing” agendas on sustainable development and climate action – is seeking to position P4G as a delivery mechanism to build back better and greener in this Decade of Action. At the SDG Knowledge Hub, we look back at the first P4G summit, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2018, and its role in developing, accelerating, and scaling PPPs towards the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit and global sustainability goals.

The second P4G summit, originally planned for 2020 but postponed due to COVID-19, is scheduled to convene from 30-31 May 2021 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The 2021 P4G Seoul Summit will focus on the theme, ‘Inclusive Green Recovery Towards Carbon Neutrality.’

P4G’s inaugural event took place from 19-20 October 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Themed, ‘Accelerating Partnerships,’ the 2018 P4G Copenhagen Summit sought to form a global coalition for sustainable growth through innovative partnerships, paying special attention to cities “as increasingly important centers of economic activity.” The two-day event brought together over 800 participants from more than 50 countries, including heads of state and government from Denmark, Ethiopia, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, and Viet Nam, as well as global CEOs and green growth champions from the public and private sectors.

On the first day, the Summit’s working sessions matched relevant potential partners from different countries, businesses, finance institutions, and international organizations with a shared commitment to sustainable development to “develop new partnerships or take existing partnerships to a new level.” The working sessions:

  • focused on ways to harvest SDG business opportunities through partnerships and on financial strategies for a sustainable transition;
  • presented P4G Scale-up Partnerships; and
  • showcased and facilitated partnerships across P4G’s five thematic tracks – food and agriculture, water, energy, cities, and circular economy – working, among other things, to scale up electrification of bus transport around the world, promote green urban logistics systems linked to online shopping in China and elsewhere, and combat food loss and waste in Indonesia.

The second day of the Summit reviewed the first day’s outcomes, elevated cross-cutting themes, and featured an awards ceremony to recognize state-of-the-art partnerships.

Addressing the Summit, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, called for “unusual” business to drive action for sustainable development. “[T]he only way you can have growth and profitability over the longer term is sustainability,” said Andrew Steer, World Resources Institute (WRI).

Summit participants endorsed the ‘Copenhagen Commitment to Action’ to enhance action on climate change and the SDGs. The outcome document highlights the need for leadership from government, business, and civil society to accelerate action towards a better and more sustainable future that can drive inclusive growth. It recognizes that “no single actor can deliver” a transformation towards a more sustainable global economy, and identifies SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals) as the key to unlock market opportunities for concrete, sustainable solutions and impact at scale and at pace.

Summit participants commit to develop, accelerate, and scale market-driven solutions within P4G’s five thematic tracks. They undertake to promote transformational partnerships and to share knowledge and best practices on PPPs to inspire actionable solutions for local, regional, and global impact.

To this end, the outcome document defines the roles for:

  • National, regional, and sub-national governments and policymakers as to promote an enabling environment for accelerating sustainable development;
  • Companies and investors as to step up efforts to provide innovation, technology, and expertise to address global challenges and “unlock new market opportunities by integrating corporate responsibility and sustainability into their overall strategy and directing investments towards the SDGs”;
  • Civil society as to contribute with knowledge, networks, and sectoral expertise for local impact; and
  • International organizations and academia as to help develop, identify, and disseminate partnerships and best practices across countries and regions.

P4G is a global platform that works to accelerate innovative multistakeholder partnerships to deliver transformative change to reach SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production). P4G “invest[s] in impact to scale breakthrough solutions” to achieve the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change. 

P4G’s network includes 12 country partners (Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Viet Nam) and five organizational partners: WRI, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and C40 Cities. Knowledge and investment partners include the International Water Association (IWA), the NDC Partnership, the Food and Land Use Coalition, the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP), Blended Finance Taskforce, and the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE). [P4G Copenhagen Summit 2018] [P4G Press Release]


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