From the President: Green Growth Getting the Policies Right

The Green Economies Dialogue aims to spur discussion of environmentally friendly innovation, jobs and trade in global markets.

peter-robinsonWhile everyone agrees on the need for greener growth, there is less consensus on how we get there.

A new project, the Green Economies Dialogue, aims to bring the policy and business communities together for intensive discussion of the best paths forward. Funded by the United States Council Foundation, USCIB’s educational and research arm, the project mobilizes experts from the public and private sectors, along with leading academics and NGOs, with the goal of providing a clear road forward on green growth, green jobs and a host of related issues.

The most recent UN climate talks underlined the critical importance – for companies, national governments and global institutions – of finding more environmentally friendly paths for business and economic development in the years ahead. Effectively addressing our current economic and environmental challenges will depend on international cooperation that works in synergy with global markets and rules.

We expect the Green Economies Dialogue project to inform policy debate in the lead-up to June’s UN Rio+20 Summit and beyond. Industry, government and other actors must work together to make the transition to a global framework where the private sector and the marketplace have bottom-line motivations to drive improvements in technology and business practices.

The Green Economies Dialogue initiative will provide a platform for discussion of key international policy questions, with the goal of ensuring that economic growth and the pursuit of environmental objectives go hand-in-hand. These include:

  • How can environmental innovation in such areas as energy use or agriculture best be shared around the world, providing opportunities to promote sustainability while maintaining competitiveness?
  • What role should international institutions like the G20, the United Nations and the OECD have in coordinating policies among national governments?
  • How can the logjam of trade and climate negotiations be broken, to foster integrated policies that incentivize innovation, broadly deploy solutions and mobilize financial resources?
  • Are subsidies an effective way to encourage start-ups and investment in new technologies, and what other options can governments pursue to help nurture as yet non-commercial options?

The Green Economies Dialogue will convene regional workshops around the world. The first of these took place in Washington, D.C. on October 12 in a day-long session bringing together more than 50 experts from business, government, academia and the NGO communities, hosted by the environmental research organization Resources for the Future.

“The Washington workshop was an important first step in exploring the policy options to foster green innovation and resource efficiency,” said Phil Sharp, president of Resources for the Future.

Another workshop was held at the OECD in Paris in November, hosted by BIAC, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD. Over 80 participants, including representatives from a dozen OECD member countries and several OECD Directorates, attended the meeting, which was opened by Simon Upton, head of the OECD Environment Directorate. Additional workshops are planned for Japan and Brazil during the first quarter of 2012.

As part of the Green Economies Dialogue, academic research is being commissioned for publication in the influential publication Energy Economics ahead of the Rio+20 Summit. Research papers by highly regarded experts will explore a variety of aspects of green growth and green jobs.

The Green Economies Dialogue website (www.green-dialogue.org) is gathering informative materials from numerous points of view, including summaries, statements and papers from the various workshops, as well as summaries of the Energy Economics research. Support for the project is being provided by various private-sector sources through the United States Council Foundation.

This is just another example of USCIB’s convening power, and our ability to drive international debate and consensus on issues critical to global business, the world economy and the health of the planet.

Other recent postings from Mr. Robinson:

Supply Chain Challenges (Fall 2011)

Opening the World for Business (Summer 2011)

The OECD at 50 (Spring 2011)

Dealing With State-Owned Enterprises (Winter 2010-2011)

Staff Contact:   Peter Robinson

President and CEO
Tel: 212.703.5046

Peter Robinson is USCIB’s 15th president. USCIB, founded in 1945, is a policy advocacy and trade services organization dedicated to promoting open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence.
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