- Daily read-outs from Conference Secretary-General
- UN Media Advisory & Logistics for Rio+20
- Media advisory in French
- Media Accreditation
- Preliminary Information note
- Briefing on logistics by the Government of Brazil
- UN System Media Contacts
- Logo & Guidelines
- A ONU Brasil na Rio+20
Green Korea Conference - 29 Sep 2010
As in 2009, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), which I head, joined the Government of Republic of Korea in organizing this year's Green Korea Conference, on 9-10 September in Seoul. The theme of this year's Conference was: Strengthening Global Green Growth Strategy and Green Economy.
The first day of the Conference was devoted to high-level plenary addresses and panels of Korean and international experts. At the opening session, I delivered the message of the Secretary-General, which was well received. In my own keynote address to the Conference, I stressed the importance of the topic to the preparations for Rio+ 20 and highlighted the important example Korea has set of high-level political commitment to a green growth strategy.
Speakers came from government, the' private sector and academia. A common theme throughout the presentations was that, while there are daunting challenges in making a transition to green growth and a green economy, there are also significant opportunities, especially for early movers who establish technological competence in the emerging clean technologies.
On the opening day of the Conference, Korean President Lee Myung-Bak test drove Hyundai's new BlueOn electric vehicle at the Blue House, showcasing the commitment of Korean businesses to developing and commercializing the technologies of the future.
On the following day, DESA, in collaboration with the Korean National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, organized an Expert Group Meeting (EGM). The EGM was designed as a brainstorming session on the theme for UNCSD: "a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication". The presentations covered: the concept of green economy; the macroeconomic aspects of a green economy; the employment, livelihood and poverty aspects of a green economy. A follow-up EGM on the trade and competitiveness aspects of a green economy is being organized by UNCTAD in Geneva on 7-8 October 2010.
The discussions have proven useful in clarifying the issues to be addressed by PrepCom2. Among the key points which emerged from the discussions are:
? Conceptual issues: Green economy implies strong economic performance combined with sound environmental stewardship. It has been used in different senses: sometimes referring to a "greening" of existing practices (i.e., incremental improvements), sometimes to a more fundamental economic transformation (e.g., towards low-or zero¬carbon energy and transport systems).
? New growth poles and adjustment costs: A green economy transition may afford new opportunities, creating new industries, firms and jobs, but it will also involve adjustment costs, with some industries, firms and jobs disappearing. Minimizing costs and maximizing opportunities will be crucial to political success.
? Macroeconomic and trade aspects: The growth and trade implications of a green economy transition need to be better understood. If it should result in a slowing or even decline in global demand for oil, metals and other minerals, and other raw materials, the adjustments for resource-dependent economies could be particularly pronounced.
? Job creation: There are definitional problems relating to "green jobs", especially if one adopts a life-cycle perspective. So, for example, making wind turbines may be classified
as a "green job", but these consume large quantities of steel, not usually considered a green industry. What matters is net job creation of the shift to a green. economy, as there will be both creation and destruction of jobs. Also important is the productivity of the jobs created, as that is what determines per capita incomes in the long run.
? Agricultural and rural real incomes: While much of the discussion of poverty impacts of a green economy has focused on job creation, there are other important transmission mechanisms to the incomes and well-being of poor people.
? As most poor people still depend on agriculture, it is important to understand what a green economy means for subsistence agriculture in developing countries. Could it help boost productivity and incomes of small farmers on a wide scale?
? Also important is how a green economy transition would affect the prices of goods and services (food, water, energy, etc.) which the poor need to consume to improve their living standards.
? Policy instruments to shift towards a green economy were discussed, including eco-tax and subsidy measures, support to green technology development, and public investment in green infrastructure. There is also a need to consider innovative mechanisms for sharing the intellectual property generated in the development of new technologies.