Day 2, Session 1: Enabling Conditions

How to foster a green transition, including learning and skills development, and transparent and participatory governance?  A systemic exploration of barriers to change and addressing them.

Daniel Abreu (National Climate Change Council of the Dominican Republic)

Paul Dickinson (Chairman, Carbon Disclosure Project)

Fulai Sheng (Senior Economist at UNEP’s Economics and Trade Branch)

– Chair: Roshni Dave (Training Associate UNITAR)

Daniel Abreu

“The Legal and institutional framework that is developed has to involve civil society in decision making.  This is especially relevant for those 20 year development plans that contain targets, goals actions and commitments that civil society will necessarily be involved in implementing.  There are strong proposals – as well as plans being developed – for national policies that will incorporate principle 10 into the legal and decision making framework.  Principle 10, which relates to access to environmental justice, access to information, and public participation in environmental matters, can strengthen civil society’s engagement in the issues.

A case study: a climate compatible development plan double GDP and halve emissions.  McKinsey supported work to develop a rigorous methodology to incorporate the pan at the national level. The focus must now be on the new skills and training that is needed ‘on the ground’ to close the implementation gap.  As part of the ‘enabling conditions’ there need to be laws and regulation, however there  is also a strong need for human resources to implement these plans and ideas.  A specific example is introducing sustainability in all the higher levels of education.”

Paul Dickinson

“There is an important role for businesses to play in the transition and transformation to the new economy.

Currently there is not the necessary political leadership being shown in the USA or the UK.  There is an imperative for leadership to be shown in all quarters, and business must also step up to the challenge.

Carbon Disclosure Project invites companies to report on their carbon emissions as part of their mainstream business reporting.

A global threat like climate change needs to be tackled by all – governments alone cannot be relied upon to ‘fix it’ because the global business system, through its ever increasing power, has taken away the ability of governments to act, leaving the nation state outgunned. It is my contention that the people inside and who run corporations are not evil themselves – which is why I do think that with the correct enabling conditions there is hope for the system to adapt and deliver the sustainable development we wish to see.  The individuals who run the corporations – I suggest – are victims of a system, a system that places sole emphasis on delivering profits. When we – citizens – shop or make an investment we need to understand that this is a way of voting.  I therefore suggest that there is a huge amount of power that can come from citizens if we can understand that through our purchasing power we can – to some extent – control the corporations and as a consequence are empowered to change the system. Through this we will ourselves be creating the enabling conditions for businesses and corporations to alter their practices.  We have to get organised in citizen groups. We have electronic platform and not for profit collaborations; and show that there is a strong business case for sustainability, and a business case for dematerialised growth.”

Fulai Sheng

“I put it to you that our common enemy is the prevailing economic system is liquidating our common and natural resources; that it is contaminating our common environment  and delivering injustice to 99% of the world’s population to make the 1% rich.  The green economy can be our common force for good and together we can work to undermine and overcome the prevailing economic system that delivers such injustice.  A shared green economy strategy would be to attack the lifeline of the common enemy – which is through financing.

For instance, too much money is put into property bubbles and not enough is put into social housing.  Finance speculation does create real economy nor does it create jobs, it simply vests the wealth in the hands of a few. The current economics system supports fossil fuels not clean access to energy.  It is manipulated to bail out our banks that are dubbed too large to fail, instead of protecting pensions and investments for those who really do rely on them.

The green economy can redirect flow of finance towards people and nature.  If we have set the correct enabling conditions to allow this to happen – if we support farmers and provide access to clean water for instance – we can start to create the new economy that will deliver justice.”

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