We have coordinated the drafting of a paper for the Danish 92 Group on an


The paper is a contribution to the global discussions on a Green Economy as they happen in the preparations for the United Nations Rio+20 meeting in June this year.

The paper can be downloaded here:


We have presented the paper at a number of meetings in Denmark and abroad. A presentation held at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 21 May 2012, can be found here:


A more detailed presentation from at meeting at DIIS, the Danish Institute for International Studies, in Copenhagen on May 15 can be found here:


Before that, in March, we presented the paper in the margins of UN preparatory meetings for Rio+20 in New York. One of the presentations was at UNDP and can be found here:


One of the presentations of the paper was covered in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, see this link:


The Executive Summary of the report follows below:


This paper is the product of an independent, Southern drafting group commissioned by the Danish 92 Group. It lays out a Southern perspective on how a Green Economy as discussed in the Rio+20 context must be designed to contribute to – rather than distract from – sustainable development.

The paper lays out a definition of an Equitable Green Economy as follows:

The Green Economy is not a state but a process of transformation and a constant dynamic progression.

The Green Economy does away with the systemic distortions and dis-functionalities of the current mainstream economy

and results in human well-being and equitable access to opportunity for all people, while safeguarding environmental and economic integrity in order to remain within the planet’s finite carrying capacity.

The Economy cannot be Green without being Equitable.

The paper sees the development of an equitable Green Economy as a progression, transforming all aspects of the current mainstream economy and spreading out to all sections of society, and it stresses that this transformation is as much about the right processes as it is about the required outcomes.

The paper sees the equitable Green Economy as a means for achieving the WHAT of sustainable development, i.e. agreed objectives of equity and sustainable development. It stresses that these objectives must comprise all three strands of sustainable development: the social, the economic and the environmental.

And based on this, it also stresses that these objectives cannot only be the ones defined in the Rio process – such as agreements under the Rio Conventions or the proposed Sustainable Development Goals – but must encompass the whole range of development goals as agreed in the MDGs and/or in national development plans.

The paper underlines the importance of having these objectives defined to include both the transformation processes and their specific outcomes in a wide range of sectorial, cross-sectorial and thematic areas relevant to both developed and developing countries.

It goes on to analyse what these objectives of equity and sustainable development might look like in three key, interlinked areas: Food, water, and energy access and security.

The bulk of the paper’s analysis is about the HOW of the link between an equitable Green Economy and sustainable development. It puts forward five key working principles, which together form a filter to inform policy and market decisions in progressing on the equitable Green Economy pathway:

1. The equitable Green Economy, in its ambition, links to policies specifying clear goals for key crosscutting pre-requisites (enabling conditions) to address systemic distortions and dis-functionalities in order to establish the foundation for equitable transformation and achieving sustainable development.

2. The equitable Green Economy establishes clear objectives for the necessary means for action to be mobilised (technology, capacity, finance) and defines the approach, nature and profile of these means, e.g. the role of technology within the context of building an equitable Green Economy.

3. The equitable Green Economy creates the necessary aligned framework of institutions at all levels with clearly defined roles and mandates to enable them to actively advance an equitable Green Economy.

4. The equitable Green Economy is transparent and engages all involved and affected actors, with powerful actors having clearly defined responsibilities and forms of accountability, while making sure other stakeholders are empowered to act both as beneficiaries of and contributors to the Green Economy.

5. Decisions on the equitable Green Economy include clear timelines for action to achieve objectives, introduce new systems for measuring progression and success, and integrate the tracking of the well-being of people, places, and the planet.

For each of these working principles, the paper goes into some detail in describing and defining the framework that needs to be put in place. It lays out the pre-requisites or enabling conditions, the means for action, the institutions, the systems for accountability and transparency, and the systems for measuring progress that are needed in order to assist the transformation towards an equitable Green Economy ensuring equity and sustainable development.

Annex B gives a graphical illustration, taking access to sustainable energy as its example, of how the five working principles could be used to populate a framework to define and understand what would be required of an equitable Green Economy for it to become a means for achieving equity and sustainable development.





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