By Kenton X. Chance
FORTALEZA, Brazil (CMC) — Despite being a middle-income region, Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) is not a middle-income society.
But a senior United Nations official believes that this situation can change.
Addressing the 2019 America Regional Conference on Green Economy, Katyna Argueta, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Brazil, said Latin American and the Caribbean is a region that faces important challenges.
Katyna Argueta, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
“We must remember that in many countries basic needs of a significant part of the population have not been fulfilled,” Argueta said.
“Latin America and the Caribbean is a middle-income region but it is not a middle-class society region. So how can we reach middle class society and achieve a more sustainable pathway,” she said, adding that this sustainable pathway is a three-lane road.
“Countries must enhance productivity, inclusion and resilience. We must work at having these three lanes, mindful that it requires effective governance as a precondition,” the UNDP representative explained.
UN Environment says that a green economy is defined as low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
In a green economy, growth in employment and income are driven by public and private investment into such economy activities, infrastructure and assets that allow reduced carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevention of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem service.
Argueta said there are many factors that explain poor income, including low quality of education, low-capacity local government, poor service delivery, and the degradation of national sources.
She said that those factors are always related to ineffective governance, adding that green economy has the potential to foster productivity, enhance social inclusion, and improve human welfare as well as enhance systemic resilience with its full potential can only be achieved by means of enabling policy environment”.
She said the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda is an inspirational line of sight
“Thus, transition to a green economy model must fully in line with the achievement to the SDG. Therefore, must be thought for the benefit of all,” she said.
Arqueta, quoting UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said, “We all know that the green economy is the future. Then we must make sure that everyone benefits and no one is left behind.”
Argueta said the conference, which ends later on Tuesday, is an opportunity for networking, exchanging best practices and lessons learned as well as identify a pathway for advancing a green economy agenda in the region.
The conference is organised in collaboration with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), International Solar Alliance, and the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change.
Conference organisers say a clear priority for many developed and developing economies is the need for innovation, productivity, and secure jobs.
They say that while different stakeholders might have varying needs, there is an overall need for higher productivity and efficiency, stronger resilience and innovation.
Green economy offers vast opportunities in eradicating poverty as well as sustaining economic growth, which is of particular concern for the countries in the Global South, as well as enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare, creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the healthy functioning of the Earth’s ecosystems, organisers say.
“In order to drive sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth and job creation, particularly for women, youth and the poor, it is important that implementation of green economy policies would adopt a holistic approach, by linking financing, technology, capacity development and other elements of the enabling environment for the green economy.”
The conference includes as ministerial panel discussion on enabling policy and regulatory frameworks for a green economy, a solutions forum on scaling up green innovative technologies, and a discussion on funding the sustainable development agenda through green finance: challenges and opportunities.
It will be followed on Wednesday by the WGEO Executive Training Course on Green Economy.
This course aims to equip the participants with the sound understanding of the key principles, dimensions, and trends in the process of transition to a green economy at national, regional and global levels, as well as provides the tools and methods for proactive green action in the context of the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Agenda.
The course is targeted at executives and decision makers representing national government institutions, international organizations, private sector, as well as civil society organizations, including mass media. The course is designed to provide executives and decision makers with an opportunity to re-acquaint or familiarize themselves with core principles, dimensions, trends, tools, and methodologies in scaling up the transition to a green economy model.