On 17-18 March, the Global Transition 2012 (a joint project of the New Economics Institute, the new economics foundation, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and the Green Economy Coalition) hosted a Global Transition Dialogue on “The New Economy” at Pace University in New York. This dialogue was the second in a series of “Global Transition Dialogues” that are being organized in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) in order to bring together leading new economic thinkers and practitioners who are pioneering the transition to a green and fair economy.
The Dialogue on the New Economy aimed to highlight practical and implementable approaches to address the “priority areas” of the green economy (as identified in the zero draft outcome document so far), as well as the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Participants reviewed the status of the current Rio+20 negotiation process, including some of the amendments made to the zero draft of the outcome document, and discussed whether the “Green Economy” could indeed deliver the fair and just transition that the world needs today. Participants also tried to reach consensus on the principles that should constitute a green economy.
A synthesis of the first day of the meeting, prepared by the host organization, shows some of the recurring concerns that were raised by participants. In order to transition to a green and fair economy, participants identified the need for financial and natural wealth redistribution; a social protection floor; human security; more democratic and inclusive governance structures; political commitment; a redefinition of growth; pricing externalities; abandon commodity speculation; and for the recognition of absolute ecological limits. Moreover, they highlighted that the SDGs should complement the existing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and be implementable at both national and sub-national level.
Strengthened collaboration, a new multilateralism, increased support for bottom-up and grassroots initiatives, transparency, and a power redistribution within and between nations and between the private sector, States and civil society were some of the other issues raised at the two-day event.
The event further showcased a new Global Transition Interactive Worldmap – a map that aims to put the spotlight on innovative and successful local and grassroots initiatives towards a new, green and fair economy. It also aims to complement the map with national green economy policies and initiatives, featured by the Rio+20 secretariat (see http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/gedatabase.html). The interactive map will enable users to promote their own initiatives and connect up with other similar initiatives from across the world.
From 20-21 October, at Pace University in New York City, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and civil society organizations Green Economy Coalition and Stakeholder Forum held an event entitled “Post-Rio to Post-2015: Planning International Stakeholder Engagement.”
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) urges Heads of State and government attending the Rio+20 Conference to consider the views and proposals of civil society, and to incorporate key issues such as equity, ecological sustainability, and respect for universal human rights, including gender equality, in the outcome document.
In a statement released on 18 June, civil society organizations are calling for the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative to become more ambitious, accountable and people-driven.
Just a few days ahead of the Rio+20 Conference, the international movement for the defense and promotion of people’s right to food sovereignty, expressed its opinion on the green economy through its monthly newsletter Nyéléni.