“Green Growth” getting stronger: GGGI to become an international organization Reply

Representatives of sixteen countries have gathered on June 20 at a side-event of the Rio+20 conference – Signing Ceremony for the Agreement on the Establishment of GGGI – to officially establish the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) as an international organization. The signatories of the Establishment Agreement – Australia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Guyana, Kiribati, Korea, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, the Philippines, Qatar, the UAE, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam – will become the founding members of GGGI when it launches as a new international organization in October this year.

GGGI has been operational since 2010 with headquarters in Seoul, Republic of Korea. GGGI’s main aim has been to pioneer “Green Growth” as a new model of environmentally sustainable economic growth and its conversion into an international organization is a step forward to spread this economic model further around the world.

GGGI partners with developing countries and emerging economies, including least developed countries, to develop green growth strategies and plans that deliver poverty reduction, job creation and social inclusion in an environmentally sustainable way.  The Institute currently works in ten countries, including Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand and UAE, and is expected to expand its set of partner countries in coming years.

Links: GGGI website

Ecologic Institute started to fill the gap on measures of sustainable industries Reply

The Ecologic Institute, a private not-for-profit think tank, has released a new report on resource efficiency indicators and their potential use for measuring progress towards sustainable industries. The report, titled “Integrating resource efficiency, greening of industrial production and green industries – scoping of and recommendations for effective indicators,” is the outcome of work undertaken by the Ecologic Institute as part of the process of establishing a Green Industry Platform by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 2012.

The authors of the report note that there currently appears to be a gap concerning indicators for measuring progress towards sustainable industries and sustainable industrial development (including the greening of industries, progress achieved in green industries, and greater resource efficiency in industrial production) and this report aims to contribute to filling this gap.

The report uses the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as an organizing framework for systematic evaluation of the existing indicators as a measure of resource efficiency. The 10 most promising indicators considered in this study are:

  • Environmentally weighted material consumption (EWC)
  • Energy intensity by sector
  • Production based CO2 productivity
  • Water consumption by sector
  • Sustainable Process Index (SPI)
  • Water abstraction rates and water stress
  • Corporations’ turnover, value added and exports of the environmental goods and services sector
  • Resource Productivity / Material Productivity
  • Total Material Consumption (TMC)
  • Ecological Footprint (EF)

The authors suggest that since there exist many different aspects of industrial production it is only logical to consider building a basket of indicators that jointly give a more comprehensive picture than any of the indicators could give alone. They propose 4 different dimensions of sustainable industrial development to be part of the basket, namely:

  • Protection of critical environmental goods and services;
  • Minimal environmental impacts;
  • Efficient resource-use; and
  • Social and economic aspects of industrial production.

Based on the reviews conducted in report the following indicators are proposed to be included in the basket:

  • EMC (or eco-efficiency or overall environmental impact indicator) to capture environmental impacts;
  • Energy intensity by sector and production-based CO 2 productivity to cover the critical environmental areas energy and climate change;
  • Water productivity by sector and water stress to capture resource efficiency for a second critical environmental resource; and
  • Resource productivity (or TMC over GDP) to capture resource efficiency.

The authors note that the social aspects of sustainable industry have not been within the scope of their analysis, but should be considered in the development of the basket. They also highlight that this scoping study did not provide the necessary frame to develop a fully fledged analysis or road-test the proposed indicator basket and that such research tasks should be undertaken in followup projects under the auspices of UNIDO.

Link: Ecologic Institute download site of the report

French Greens support “Degrowth” and happiness movement Reply

In a long interview published in Le Monde, a prominent Green politician in France clarified the position of his party — which holds two ministerial posts in the new government of President François Hollande — on the subject of growth.

Interviewer: What is the position of Europe Ecology-The Greens on degrowth?

Jean-Vincent Placé: We are for the degrowth of polluting and energy-devouring industries, intensive agriculture, air and road transportation, and if we are for growth, it is the growth of happiness!

[Original Q&A for French speakers – Q: Quelle est la position d’EELV sur la décroissance? A: Nous sommes pour la décroissance des industries polluantes et énergivores, de l’agriculture intensive ou du transport aérien et routier, et si nous sommes pour la croissance, c’est la croissance du bonheur !]

Jean-Vincent Placé is a French Senator representing Essone (the southern part of the Paris metropolitan area) and president of the first group of green parliamentarians in France.

Le Monde, 25 June 2012