After Rio+20: Public Policy Instruments towards the Green Economy
French National Assembly, Paris - GLOBE Europe 2013 Strategy Conference
The consesus surrounding the Green Economy is widely seen as Rio+20's most useful short-term result. At the same time, one of the failings remains the lack of integration of legislators in the Rio process.
The GLOBE Europe 2013 Strategy Conference, hosted by GLOBE France President Jean-Paul Chanteguet MP, President of the Sustainable Development Committee of the French Assemblée nationale, provided a regional perspective of what a shift towards the green economy means in practice for the countries of Europe, and proposed practical ways for European legislators to accelerate the shift.
In the Rio + 20's outcome document The Future We Want, Heads of State and Government expressed their "determination to address the themes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, namely, a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development" and recognise green economy "as one of the important tools available for achieving sustainable development" and that "it could provide options for policymaking".
They also declared: "We view the implementation of green economy policies (...) as a common undertaking, and we recognize that each country can choose an appropriate approach in accordance with national sustainable development plans, strategies and priorities".
The aim of the 2013 GLOBE Europe Strategy Conference was to highlight some of the existing national approaches, strategies and priorities in Europe: the legislators gathered in order to showcase flagship "green economy legislation" from their respective countries with the potential to serve as best practice for fellow legislators in other countries, and to share with their colleagues their insights as legislators on the strenghts and weaknesses of the policies presented.
Environmental fiscal reform through environmental taxes, fees and charges, emissions trading, removal of harmful subsidies and green subsidy schemes is a fundamental precondition for the realisation of a green economy because it redistributes the burden of taxation allowing price signals to reduce pollution and inefficient energy and resource use. Therefore Arnaud Leroy MP, Member of GLOBE France and of the Socialist Group Task Force on Environmental Fiscal Reform, made an in-depth presentation of the basket of environmental fiscal reforms currently under discussion in France.
The national presentations were framed by contributions by UNEP Green Economy Team Senior Economics Affairs Officer Joy A. Kim PhD; Klaus Müller, Chairman of the Consumer Association of North Rhine-Westphalia; Marc Darras, Member of the Green Economy Roadmap Task Force of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC); Thomas Perianu, Sustainable Development Director at Suez Environnement and Cornelius Gregg, Lead Researcher of the Department for Skills Development, Skills and Employability of the International Labor Union (ILO).
Presentations by Legislators
- Environmental Tax Reform in Sweden by Jens Holm MP
- Energy Efficiency in Housing and Public Procurement in Austria by Petra Bayr MP
- Transition to Renewables in Estonia by MPs Karel Rüütli and Rainer Vakra
- 8-Year Energy Reform in Denmark: A Paradigm Shift towards Renewables by Steen Gade MP
Presentations by Guest Speakers
- UNEP Green Economy Report's Synthesis for Policy Makers by Joy A. Kim PhD, Senior Economics Affairs Officer at UNEP Green Economy Team
- “Green Economy Roadmap - a guide for business, policy-makers and society” by Marc Darras, Member of the Green Economy Roadmap Task Force of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- "Skills and Occupational Needs in Green Building" (ILO, 2011) by Cornelius Gregg, Lead Researcher of the Department for Skills Development, Skills and Employability of the International Labour Union (ILO).