United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics
Economics and Trade Branch

The Green Economy initiative

The Green Economy initiative – with the sponsorship of the Norwegian Government - is to communicate a global plan for a green industrial revolution to be supported by strong and convincing evidence of income generated, decent jobs created, and poverty reduced through investing in a new generation of assets including:

• Ecosystems (or environmental infrastructure);
• Clean and efficient technology;
• Renewable energy;
• Biodiversity-based products and services (such as organic foods);
• Chemical and waste management and mitigation technologies;
• “Green Cities” - tomorrow’s habitat for humanity - with ecologically friendly buildings, construction, and transport systems.

The Green Economy initiative will make recommendations for greening national economies, for creating new green jobs and greening existing jobs, and for a just transition from a brown to a green economy for enterprises and workers. The project will provide guidance to policymakers and other stakeholders on how to overcome these challenges, highlighting the important role of the government in the march towards a green economy.

In addition, the project will make and communicate a strong economic case for proactive investments and active labour market policies in such areas as water, forest, soil, and marine resource management, which are key components of ecosystem management, so as to preempt the environmental causes of conflicts, disasters, and poverty.

Finally, the project will reinforce the work on environmental governance and the need for a long-term global climate change response, by showing commitments to, and enforcement of, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements. The initiative will focus on facilitating the continuous engagement with and capacity building for different stakeholders.

The launch for the Green Economy initiative took place on 22 October 2008 in London, and in Geneva from 1 to 2 December 2008.


For further information on this initiative, please contact Hussein Abaza at hussein.abaza@unep.ch or Fulai Sheng
at fulai.sheng@unep.ch