Green Growth for an Inclusive World Economy


Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, delivered at the Global Green Growth Summit

Seoul, Korea, 20 June 2011

(As prepared for delivery)

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a great honour to join you at this Global Green Growth Summit in commemoration of a special year: as the OECD turns fifty, we also celebrate the 15th anniversary of Korea’s accession to the Organisation.

This year also marks the delivery of our Green Growth Strategy – the outcome of a visionary Ministerial mandate championed by Korea in 2009. Last month, along with Prime Minister Kim-Hwang-sik, we presented the Strategy to Heads of State and Ministers from over forty countries, who welcomed it as first
and foremost a growth strategy.

Korea's leadership on green growth

Korea is leading the way on green growth, having introduced the first ever 'National Green Growth Strategy' to guide its long-term economic development. Korea’s annual investment of 2% GDP to secure new green growth engines is already delivering strong results. Korea’s renewable energy sector has grown six fold over the past three years. Green investments by the private sector have increased by 74% annually. 

And Korea's efforts to promote green growth do not stop at home. The establishment of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is an important contribution for making green growth a vehicle for social development and poverty reduction worldwide.

One size does not fit all, but some principles apply broadly

But Korea knows that green growth is not about piece-meal measures. It needs to be anchored in a clear national vision and mainstreamed into broader government policies, including the budgetary process. The five-year planning practice in Korea is an example of medium-term planning to make green growth happen.

And while there is no “one-size-fits-all” model for implementing green growth, there are some common considerations that apply in all settings.

We need wider application of price signals to reflect the true value of natural resources, the costs of pollution, and provide the right incentives to change behaviour and encourage innovation.

We also need to scale-up green innovation and facilitate its diffusion.

At the same time, we should be careful to ensure a smooth transition. Greener growth will see new jobs created, but effective labour market policies are required to facilitate the re-allocation of workers from those which are contracting to those which are expanding. 

Green growth considerations need to span across various policy areas.  For example, green growth is not only desirable and achievable in areas like food and agriculture. It is essential in order to meet the needs of future generations.

Green growth and poverty reduction

The success of green growth will depend on whether it is a shared global agenda. Many developing countries are not yet fully equipped to introduce new ‘greener’ policies and tap into the benefits of a green future. Tremendous institutional and capacity development efforts are needed to help them get ready.

Green growth should also be an important part of the development co-operation debates. We will work with Korea to ensure that it features prominently on the agenda of the forthcoming High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan.

International initiatives to support country-led efforts are also gaining pace. The GGGI’s collaboration with Cambodia on building capacity and mobilizing financing for implementing a national green growth roadmap is a noteworthy example.

Future OECD work on green growth

The OECD stands ready to support these initiatives. The delivery of the Green Growth Strategy to Ministers last month, was just the start.

Over the next years, we will be tailoring the Strategy to provide country-specific and sector-specific guidance. We will mainstream green growth in our analysis, including our economic surveys, and continue our work on green growth indicators, as a follow-up to the 2009 Busan and the forthcoming 2011 Delhi Forums on Statics, Knowledge and Policy.

We will also continue to work closely with other international organisations, such as UNEP and the World Bank, to maximise impact. Our joint Green Growth Knowledge Platform solidifies our mutual commitment to help ensure better policies for better lives around the world. The GGGI is a strategic partner in this endeavour.

There is much we can achieve when we work together. We look forward to continuing in this co-operative path with you, to promote better policies for better lives.



Useful links

OECD work on green growth

OECD's 50th Anniversary Week: Paris, May 24-26 2011

Ministerial Council Meeting 2009

High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan


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