4 April 2017
PAGE Conference Addresses Inclusive and Sustainable Economies
UN Photo/Kibae Park/Sipa Press
story highlights

The second Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference focused on the theme, 'Inclusive and Sustainable Economies Powering the Sustainable Development Goals'.

Among other launches during the meeting were a preview of UN Environment's 'Inclusive Wealth Index,' the Green Growth Knowledge Platform's Virtual Policy Solutions Centre, and IISD and UN Environment's Sustainablity Toolkit for Trade Negotiators.

28 March 2017: Approximately 40 ministers, chief executive officers (CEOs) and other high-level representatives from UN agencies, NGOs and trade unions gathered with over 300 sustainable development experts for the second Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference. The 2017 Conference focused on the theme, ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Economies Powering the Sustainable Development Goals.’

PAGE is hosted by UN Environment. It seeks to assist countries in achieving and monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth).

The two-day ministerial conference took place from 27-28 March 2017, in Berlin, Germany, and was hosted by the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). Agenda items included: Inclusive Green Economies; Inclusive Growth and Full Employment; Sustainable Lifestyles; Inclusive Wealth; Catalyzing Green Investment and Sustainable Finance; and Promoting Green Start-ups. Parallel sessions addressed additional themes, such as: Green Investment; Sustainable Lifestyles; Inclusive Growth; and Policy in Practice. A green economy pioneers exhibition featured a number of networks and platforms.

Solheim called for a “new green revolution … while there is still enough green to go around.”

Opening the Conference, UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim told participants that, “What we need now is a great acceleration – a new green revolution – to make sure we achieve inclusive green economy while there is still enough green to go around.” Barbara Hendricks, Germany’s Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, said the SDGs “will not become a reality until they are powered by decisive action of both governments and private companies.”

The Conference featured a preview of UN Environment’s ‘Inclusive Wealth Index,’ which will be released later this year. The Index reveals that, between 1990 and 2014, more than 75% of the 202 countries analyzed depleted or barely maintained their natural capital, thus drawing down their natural wealth for short-term gains in GDP. IISD and UN Environment launched an online platform that aids trade negotiators to incorporate environmental considerations in trade agreements, which was featured at the green economy pioneers exhibition.

Another project launched during the PAGE Ministerial Conference was the Green Growth Knowledge Platform’s (GGKP) Virtual Policy Solutions Centre. The Centre builds on two new tools: the Best Practices Database and the Green Growth Expert Connect. It aims to provide policy makers with access to green economy experts, and includes over 150 case studies and best practices on how to ensure stable, equitable and green growth.

PAGE was launched in 2013, following the call during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) to support countries wishing to embark on greener and more inclusive growth trajectories. PAGE focuses on national and regional efforts to reframe economic policies and practices around sustainability. It serves as a mechanism to coordinate UN action on green economy by five UN agencies – UN Environment, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) – whose mandates, expertise and networks can offer integrated and holistic support to countries on inclusive green economy, ensuring coherence and avoiding duplication.

In addition, 11 countries participate in the PAGE alliance: Barbados, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Ghana, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mauritius, Mongolia, Peru, Senegal and South Africa. [PAGE Press Release] [Conference Agenda] [Statement of IISD President] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Green Economy Exhibition]

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