USD 35 Million committed to UN partnership tackling pollution through green economy
South Africa to host next Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) ministerial conference in 2018
Announcements made during UN Environment Assembly to tackle pollution
PAGE calls for three new countries to join the partnership
Nairobi, 5 December 2017 – The European Union, Finland, Germany, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sweden and Switzerland committed USD 35 million to the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE). The partnership of five UN agencies supports countries in greening their economies and tackling environmental challenges, while promoting better jobs and stable economic growth.
The announcement came during the third UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, which brings together over 4,000 heads of state, ministers, business leaders, UN officials and civil society representatives.
“In order to move towards a sustainable and pollution-free future, we need a broad alliance of all stakeholders, one that transcends the traditional divides between industry and environmentalists,” said Jochen Flasbarth, Head of German Delegation and State Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of Germany.
“PAGE fosters these urgently needed partnerships and alliances, which is a substantial contribution to the goal of this year’s UN Environment Assembly. For this very reason, we transferred an additional EUR 13 million to the PAGE Trust Fund.”
The resolve to transform economies into a vehicle for sustainable development was echoed by all delegates in attendance.
“The EU is committed to cooperate with developing countries, but also to take action domestically, as shown by the ongoing implementation of the circular economy action plan,” said Mr. Daniel Calleja, Director-General for the Environment, European Commission.
More than 90 countries have benefited from PAGE’s global and national capacity building and south-South-North Knowledge exchange programmes. PAGE is supporting policy reforms in 13 countries, with the support of eight funding partner countries, all working to enable economic and investment decisions that play a fundamental role in moving towards sustainable development and a pollution-free planet.
“As this partnership grows and helps more nations green their economies, we will see leaders increasingly champion sustainable growth that reduces emissions and reliance on finite resources,” said Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment. “This new funding will help expand the great work that has been done so far, and move us closer to a pollution-free planet.”
Initiatives such as PAGE are increasingly important as the world faces climate change and other environmental challenges such as pollution, which is the focus of the UN Environment Assembly. Everyone on earth is affected by pollution, according to a new UN Environment report, The Executive Director’s Report: Towards a Pollution-Free Planet.
Overall, environmental degradation causes nearly one in four of all deaths worldwide, or 12.6 million people a year, and the widespread destruction of key ecosystems. Over a dozen resolutions are on the table at the assembly, including new approaches to tackle air pollution, which is the single biggest environmental killer, claiming 6.5 million lives annually.
“Making our planet free of pollution could be a new engine of growth, a net generator of green jobs, a new investment opportunity for the finance sector, and a vital strategy for addressing persistent poverty,” said Asad Naqvi, Head of the PAGE Secretariat.
PAGE partner countries have already shown significant results, which are laid out in the newly launched PAGE 2017 Annual Report, now available online. However, more can be done to reduce pollution globally. Responding to increasing demand for green economy support, PAGE has issued a call for three new countries to join the partnership.
The green economy agenda will also be pushed further next year when South Africa hosts the next ministerial meeting.
“Following the success of the PAGE Ministerial Conference held in Berlin in 2017, I am pleased to announce that South Africa will host the next PAGE Ministerial Conference in September 2018,” said Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs of South Africa. “South Africa joined the PAGE partnership in 2015, and has witnessed first-hand the benefits of pursuing this green economy pathway through inclusivity and sustainable growth.”
Ministers and heads of delegations from the seven countries backed the partnership, and its role in creating pollution-free economies, noting that market signals are increasingly positive for a pollution-free world, with green investors getting more value for their money.