June 2011 Newsletter

Note from the Convenor In this note I want to personally thank all who were able to attend the meeting and contribute so valuably, to give a preliminary update on the CEO event, and to describe our immediate next steps. Some feedback from workshop attendees on the value of the coalition and why they are involved: "The coalition represents the possibility of lots of great organisations with their huge global networks, putting their efforts together, creating a movement that will drive the changes that are needed. The three tenets of the green economy coalition– 'mobilise', 'build' and 'influence' – make a lot of sense to me" (Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN) "We need to start building a powerful message of social change and that can only happen if we bring together the best of all the movements that we have today" (Annabella Rosenberg, ITUC) "We have learnt that governments, civil society, business, or the consumer cannot do this alone. We must work together to a collective idea or goal for reaching this vision" (Peter Paul Van de Wijs, WBCSD) The CEOs meeting (1 June 2011) (attended by senior representatives of IUCN, UNEP, IISD, WWF, ITUC, ILO, IIED, TEEB, Ecologic, GFN, GRI, WBCSD, Development Alternatives, Philips, SEED, Canari, Ethical Markets, Bellagio Forum) gave us the mandate to continue with our mobilising, building and influencing strategy. Attendees gave a strong message that our first priority is to create clear, shared demands for Rio 2012, to be used urgently in a pre ‘zero-draft’ push to influence governments. They also helped us focus on what those demand areas might be: green jobs, enabling conditions of subsidy reform, public procurement and a just transition.

prosperity for all within one planet limits

With this advice in mind, our first step is to convene a GEC Rio policy group – a senior policy-drafting and negotiation group who are skilled and knowledgeable enough to deliver on this significant responsibility. I shall start convening this group next week. The CEOs also asked us to return to them with an updated work-plan and calendar, including specific resource needs, and communications and suggestions on what each organisation might best contribute. This we shall achieve through careful event write-up of all the insights and actions created over the full three days of our meetings, with an individual page for each organisation’s recommended contributions. In addition, our initial analysis of our event discussions suggest more broadly that, as well as this GEC Rio policy group, there is the need for a Big Picture editorial group, and a National Dialogue group. We shall complete our event write-up before we confirm these two additional areas. A final thought: one particular sentence used in the CEO event stuck with me. It was ‘we need to convince leaders that green economy is on the right side of history’. For me, this encapsulates the ambition of our influencing strategy, which will require the combined efforts of many individuals and many organisations, linked together in powerful movement for a fair and green economy. My sincerest thanks again for all of your contributions, they were extremely useful. We recognise not all issues were resolved, such as the question of intelligent growth, the need and role of business participation and the need for more development organisations to balance the greens. We encourage you to send any postevent reflections, on these points or any others. Oliver Greenfield Convenor Green Economy Coalition

join the debate at www.greeneconomycoalition.org

GEC AND THE ROAD TO RIO 2012 There is a consensus amongst the coalition that Rio 2012 provides a critical opportunity to set the international agenda. As the largest civil society coalition on green economy and with the insights that the national dialogues have brought to our understanding of the different policy dimensions at local, national and regional levels, we occupy a unique voice on the global scene. We will be working hard over the next month to define our collective statement with four or five key demands for the Zero Draft Text (deadline 1 November). This statement will be used over the summer in our lobbying of governments in preparation for the November submission. The Zero Draft Text is an important development and we need to be able to respond to this opportunity, both at the time with our submission but also beforehand to influence individual government submissions. Your organisations may wish to note this date, if you want to make an independent submission. We are aiming for strong representation of the coalition at the UNDPI 64th Annual Conference (3 – 5 September, Bonn) and the 2nd Inter-sessional Meeting (15 – 16 December, New York). We are also hoping to ensure representation from our Rio policy group and relevant partners from the national dialogues at the regional preparation meetings for Rio 2012. Please put these dates in your diary: • 7 – 9 September; Latin America and the Caribbean Region, (ECLAC), Santiago, Chile 10 – 14 October; Africa Region, ECA and partners, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 18 – 20 October; Arab Region, ESCWA and partners, Cairo, Egypt. 19 – 20 October; Asia Pacific Region, ESCAP, Seoul, Republic of South Korea 1 – 2 December, ECE Region, ECE, Geneva Switzerland

• • • •

We will also continue with our national dialogues. A transition to a green economy will require a transformational shift in our thinking, but it is also one that needs to be rooted in national cultural and ecological contexts so the solutions are practical, owned and implemented.

NATIONAL DIALOGUES One of the core aspects of our understanding of a green economy is that ‘no one size fits all’. Each country faces a very different economic, social, environmental and political landscape and the implications of a ‘green economy’ will therefore vary. The four national dialogues that the Green Economy Coalition has supported over the last year have helped to provide a critical insight into these different challenges, circumstances and perspectives. During the 4th GEC Global Meeting, Steve Bass (IIED) described the format and the themes to have emerged each of the dialogues, which have now been held in Brazil, India, Mali and the Caribbean. He stressed that each dialogue had produced insights very specific to the national circumstances but that there were also a number of cross cutting themes to have emerged. Our next step is to collect these themes into a synthesis document to help build up our shared understanding of the changes that we should be trying to influence. There was a consensus across the meeting that the national dialogues play a unique role for us to learn of how the concept of a green economy is being understood on the ground and also act as opportunities for nationallyfocused change processes, which in turn link into our international advocacy agenda. Together, we identified a long list of other countries to potentially target, to help us to build up a bigger picture and understanding around a green economy at the national level. We wish to do more and a list of those planned and possible will be created so that coalition members can contribute and share opportunities. We will also seek to improve follow-up support to our partners who have already carried out dialogues, and further link them into our Big Picture and influencing work.

join the debate at www.greeneconomycoalition.org

THE BIG PICTURE One of the biggest debates is ‘what is a green economy?’ With our combined size, influence, agenda expertise and geographical representation, our coalition is uniquely positioned to define a green economy so that it explicitly means improving the state of the natural world and improving the livelihoods of all people. At our 4th Global Meeting we discussed the first big picture illustration of the green economy. We agreed there needs to be a stronger societal component and that the proposed areas did not adequately convey the interrelated relationship of ‘economy within society within environment’. We will be reworking our illustration of the green economy to better reflect these inputs. To further our thinking on the parameters of a green economy we used six clusters: society’s values and capabilities; greening economic sectors; managing natural capital; financial flows; governance; and other. We came up GLOBAL UPDATES Scottish government advised to re-evaluate measurement of economic performance and social progress A new report, supported by the Carnegie Trust, argues that GDP is an insufficient and misleading measure of whether life in Scotland is improving or not. It takes the findings of the 2009 Stiglitz Report, which emerged from the Commission set up by President Sarkozy to advise on how better to measure economic performance and social progress. It recommends that the new Scottish Government applies these to creating a performance framework better able to deliver, measure and report on economic performance, JOIN US The Green Economy Coalition has joined Facebook and Twitter, which we will be using to keep you all updated on each other’s news and to alert you to the latest activity. Do follow us and join us there...
The GEC is supported by a secretariat hosted by IIED in London. International Institute of Environment and Development, 4 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H 0DD, UK

with over one hundred possible areas for policy interventions. Although this seemed an arduous task and certainly demonstrated the complexity of green economy, it also confirms the potential for systemic intervention. Furthermore, we identified a huge number of change opportunities not identified by OECD green growth policies. We shall use this valuable output in our Big Picture project, to both create the desired definition and nomenclature of green economy, but also to highlight areas of future GEC priority and intelligent coalition membership growth. The next stage of Big Picture drafting starts now in earnest and we shall be looking for an editorial group to review and contribute on behalf of the coalition. If you attended the meeting, we would like to remind you that you are requested to send us a paragraph on the themes you suggested and any links/ introductions to appropriate organisations. If you would like to find out more about the Big Picture project, do just get in touch.

quality of life, sustainability and well-being. It makes some interesting reading. OECD releases new set of Green Growth reports The GEC welcomes the hard work of the OECD team and their contribution to the green economy policy debate. ‘Towards Green Growth’ is particularly worth a read for all those considering what policy interventions are necessary for a green economy, although we do not think the list exhaustive and we shall point out our own thoughts on interventions under Big Picture. Check out OECD’s latest on Green Growth here.

NEXT STEPS A thorough write up is now underway of our event in Switzerland; the GEC Rio Policy group is being convened; and we will share our specific recommendations on how organisations can contribute soon. Watch this space!
Oliver Greenfield, Convenor, oliver.greenfield@greeneconomycoaltion.org Emily Benson, Project Manager, emily.benson@greeneconomycoaltion.org Kate Lines, IIED Partnerships Officer, kate.lines@iied.org join the debate at www.greeneconomycoalition.org