Global Advocacy > United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Analysis and support while transitioning to a green economy

The UNEP-led Green Economy Initiative, launched in late 2008, consists of several components whose collective overall objective is to provide analysis and policy support for promoting a transition to a green and inclusive economy.

The UNEP Green Economy Initiative includes three sets of activities:

  • Producing research materials that analyse the macroeconomic, sustainability, and poverty reduction implications of green investment in a range of sectors from renewable energy to sustainable agriculture and providing guidance on policies that can catalyze increased investment in these sectors.
  • Providing advisory services on ways to move towards a green economy in specific countries.
  • Engaging a wide range of research, non-governmental organizations, business and UN partners in promoting the transition to a green and inclusive economy.

Identifying trade opportunities in the green economy

In 2012, UNEP launched the Green Economy and Trade Opportunities Project (GE-TOP), which explores trade opportunities in developing countries associated with a transition to a green economy. The project also analyses the need for policy reform to maximize gains from such opportunities and inform the dialogue on trade and green economy currently taking place. GE-TOP builds upon existing analysis in the areas of trade and green economy. In particular, the project benefits from analysis carried out in the context of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative and its national- and regional-level advisory services.

The first stage of the project produced a report (Green Economy and Trade – Trends, Challenges and Opportunities) that identifies and analyses existing green economy related trade opportunities in developing countries in certain key sectors (agriculture, fisheries, forests, manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism). The first stage of the project also comprised the organisation of a series of events providing a platform for a multi-stakeholder discussion on trade opportunities in a green economy in the regional and global contexts. Following the publication of the report and related events, UNEP, in the second stage of GE-TOP, is conducting additional analysis and outreach activities at the national level. UNEP will initially select three countries from Africa, Asia, and South America.

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