North-South Centre

North-South Forum

Green Economy: Development opportunity or latest buzzword?

Thursday, 25 November 2010, 9:00 – 12:45 h
Geographisches Institut, Hallerstrasse 12, 3012 Bern, Room 002

Free entrance, no registration required, conference language English

The North-South Forum is jointly organised by the NCCR North-South and the North-South Centre.

Programme (PDF, 406 KB)


Current global crises in financial markets, climate change, food security, and energy use clearly demand bold, concerted efforts to overcome them. This is particularly true for developing countries, which are much more vulnerable to these global phenomena. How can we meet the twin objectives of mitigating global crises and ensuring that developing countries benefit from the solutions?

Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Green Economy Initiative (GEI) seeks to assist governments and decision-makers in shifting their policies and investments towards sustainable, environmentally-friendly development. Created in response to the current global crises, the GEI is meant to drive a new “Global Green New Deal”, creating jobs and economic growth through industry and agriculture based on “green” principles such as clean technology, renewable energy, and conservation of resources. At the Rio+20 conference, the GEI will be one of the leading themes guiding the discussion.

Indeed, as we have already witnessed, governments across the world have launched unprecedented spending programmes to avoid a financial collapse. Thus far, however, this spending has not specifically sought to simultaneously address environmental concerns. Achieving the global green economy envisioned by the GEI will only be possible through harmonized action and support from a broad cross-section of governments, the private sector, and civil society. Developing countries are likely to require continuous assistance in “greening” their economies.

At the next North-South Forum, we will bring together different actors working in international development and cooperation as well as in the private sector to discuss the meaning and significance of a Green Economy. They will debate the measures that must be taken to achieve the goals of the UN initiative while simultaneously responding to the needs of developing countries.


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