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UN conference on sustainable growth in Cape Town: Environmental protection as driver for employment and development

10.01.2019 | Sustainable Development

Speech at the PAGE Ministerial Conference

Parties at the third conference of the UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy discuss how to further accelerate the necessary transition to environmentally sound and just economic practices.

BMU and International Labour Organization (ILO) cooperate on green jobs and a just transition

Today, the third conference of the UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) started in Cape Town. Parliamentary State Secretary Rita Scharzelühr-Sutter attended the conference on behalf of the Federal Environment Ministry. High-ranking representatives from politics, industry, the public, science and UN organisations discussed how to further accelerate the transition to environmentally sound and just economic practices. In her speech at the opening of the conference, Ms Schwarzelühr-Sutter called on the international community to increase efforts for implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

She said: "We only have 12 more years to fulfil the goals that we set ourselves with the 2030 Agenda. Environmental protection has to promote employment and development to an even greater degree, especially in industrialising countries such as South Africa. Decision-makers and industry have to make the right investment decisions for the future today."

In addition to UN Environment and the UN Development Programme, the ILO is also a PAGE partner. The Partnership demonstrates how to work towards sustainable economies across sectoral and national borders. At the fringes of the UN conference in Cape Town, Ms Schwarzelühr-Sutter and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder agreed on intensifying cooperation on green jobs and a just transition.

The BMU has supported the work of PAGE on the transition to a green a economy both conceptually and financially for many years. PAGE aims to support industrialising and developing countries worldwide in this transition towards sustainable and inclusive economic practices. This is done mainly through consultations on policy and strategy. PAGE also assists in building up the necessary expertise at all levels. South Africa, the host of the conference, is one of the countries that has benefited from the assistance provided by PAGE. For instance, PAGE supported the country in developing its green fund, which finances national projects for more sustainable economic activities, and organised regular training measures for the government, NGOs and companies.

10.01.2019 | Pressreport Nr. 004/19 | Sustainable Development