Since Rio +20, the United Nations has combined several related deliberations into an ambitious initiative, collectively referred to as the Post 2015 Development Agenda.  This U.N. wide initiative aims to establish an internationally endorsed framework for economic, social and environmental progress, including the establishment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) called for by Rio+20 as its centerpiece.  Related elements include:

  • Next steps for the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • New agenda-setting assessments in ecosystems and biodiversity (IPBES, GEO)
  •  Linked climate change and energy initiatives:
    • Review of the adequacy of existing climate commitments and actions
    • Access to Sustainable Energy For All initiative
    • U.N. “climate summit” hosted by Ban Ki Moon during the U.N. General Assembly in 2014
    • Negotiation by 2015 of a comprehensive post-2020 climate agreement
    • Release of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Green economy and green growth concepts are explicit in and pervade nearly all aspects of these efforts.

Two recently published influential experts’ reports:

provide insights into possible directions of UN initiatives under the Post 2015 Development processes.

These reports:

  • reveal areas of opportunity and challenges both for business as a wholeand for specific sectors, such as energy efficiency and developing enhanced technologies and systems for power and transport in the context of a low carbon economy;
  • highlight areas where business experience and capability can make positive contributions, such as research, finance, innovation, diffusion of technology and development of improved business models and management systems.
  • indicate areas of concern to business and matters where dialogue could promote improved understanding of business approaches, for example, in treatment of intellectual property, corporate reporting, employment and the role of business in society.
  • identify possible themes and topics for SDGs that may apply to specific sectors, e.g. energy or agriculture, and to relevant systems and activities such as cities, technology diffusion, trade and investment.

Consideration of the range of topics and issues in these new reports highlights the opportunity for business to play a constructive role by organizing dialogues with governments and others with a focus on discussion of business implications and issues arising from “greening” policies and markets in framing the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Both the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have significant ongoing programs to continue and build on green economy and green growth analysis and policy advice:

  • UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative (GEI) provides analysis and policy support for investing in green sectors and in greening other sectors, building from the 2011 report, Towards a Green Economy, Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication.  UNEP also leads theTen Year Framework on Sustainable Consumption and Production, which will address consumer choice and decision-making.
  • The OECD continues its strong focus on green growth and sustainable development, including with regard to indicators, development, innovation, investment, etc., also partnering with other international organizations such as for the Green Growth Knowledge Platform.