The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) was founded on the belief that economic growth and environmental sustainability are not merely compatible objectives; their integration is essential for the future of humankind.
GGGI is dedicated to pioneering and diffusing a new model of economic growth in developing and emerging countries, known as “green growth,” that simultaneously targets key aspects of economic performance, such as poverty reduction, job creation and social inclusion, and those of environmental sustainability, such as mitigation of climate change and biodiversity loss and security of access to clean energy and water.
GGGI’s Theory of Change
GGGI’s works to advance the practice and theory of green growth by supporting the development, implementation, and diffusion of green growth strategies, and promote a critical mass of successful demonstration initiatives in developing and emerging countries, including in least developed countries. GGGI has built its theory of change to tackle three major barriers to achieving its vision and mission. First, there is a lack of practical experience in planning and implementing green growth strategies, and in generating demonstrated results. Second, there is not yet a convincing economic theory and policy agenda to explain the fundamentals of green growth and guide its pursuit. Third, while green growth requires changes in behavior by industry and financial markets — the scaled deployment of resource-efficient technologies and internalization of environmental externalities in capital allocation — there are too many barriers today to the engagement of the private sector, especially in developing countries. Consequently GGGI seeks three major outcomes for its cooperation with developing countries: adoption and implementation of green growth plans (with adequate local stakeholder support, financing and technologies); provision of relevant, high-quality research for policymakers; and engagement of the private sector in the implementation of the national green growth plans.
GGGI grew out of the green growth experience of the Republic of Korea. Launched by President Lee Myung-bak on 16 June 2010, GGGI aims to create an international platform for evidence-based learning and policy innovation that helps to illuminate practical opportunities for country-led and industry-led progress on the twin imperatives of economic development and environmental sustainability. Through its developing country, industry and research activities, it seeks to serve as a bridge between developed and developing countries, the public and private sectors, and practitioners and scholars, respectively. The overall goal is to channel GGGI’s knowledge-base, networks and experience to provide the best technical assistance and support to developing countries promoting and implementing their own rigorous green growth economic development strategies.
GGGI was initially structured as a non-profit foundation under Article 32 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Korea on 16 June 2010. It converted into an international organization in accordance with an agreement among its major partner governments in October 2012 following the ratification of the organization’s Establishment Agreement by several member country governments. On October 23, 2012, GGGI held inaugural meetings of its Assembly and Council in Seoul as part of the organization’s new international governance structure. This came after a signing ceremony for the Establishment Agreement, which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012.
These events, attended by representatives of the organization’s 18 founding member countries, were key milestones in GGGI’s history and evolution to becoming an international organization. The 18 founding member countries includes 11 participating members (or developing countries): Australia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Guyana, Indonesia, Kiribati, Mexico, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
The organization’s objectives and activities are spelled out in the Establishment Agreement as supporting developing and emerging countries, including the poorest communities and least developed countries, in designing and implementing green growth plans, supporting and spearheading research initiatives that advance practical and theoretical aspects of green growth, and facilitating cooperation between the public and private sectors to help create an investment environment favorable to green growth. GGGI also seeks to raise global awareness of green growth through public outreach initiatives and other activities, such as conferences, seminars, and workshops.
Membership to GGGI is open to any member state of the United Nations that subscribes to the organizations goals and objectives. Regional integration organizations –bodies consisting of sovereign states of a given region –are also eligible for GGGI membership.
Upon converting into an international organization, GGGI adopted a new governance structure, which consists of an Assembly, a Council, an Advisory Committee, and a Secretariat (see figure above).
The Assembly is composed of GGGI members and meets every two years. The functions of the Assembly include advising on the overall direction of GGGI and review the organization’s progress in meeting its stated objectives. The Assembly also elects Council members, appoints a Director-General, and reviews the organization’s progress in meeting its stated objectives.
The Council serves as the executive organ of GGGI and thus approves the organization’s strategy, budget, admission of new members, and criteria for green growth planning and implementation programs. The Council consists of no more than seventeen members, among which are contributing and participating members, non-state actors, the host country, as well as the Director-General without a voting right.
The Agreement calls for the Advisory Committee to be a consultative organ of GGGI, consisting of leading, relevant experts and non-state actors. It is responsible for advising on the strategy and activities of GGGI and serves as a public-private cooperation forum for green growth.
The Secretariat acts as the chief operational organ of the Institute and is headed by the Director-General, who, under the guidance of the Council and Assembly, represents GGGI externally and provides strategic leadership for the organization to carry out its objectives.
At GGGI’s Inaugural meetings of the Assembly and Council on October 23-24, 2012, the Assembly convened to elect Australia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates to the Council. The four non-state representatives elected were GGGI Chair and former Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Lokke Rasmussen and GGGI members Lord Nicholas Stern, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, Kim Sang-hyup Senior Secretary for Green Growth and Environment of Korea, and Montek Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of the Government of India. The Assembly also elected the Honorable Bharrat Jagdeo, former President of Guyana, to be President of the Assembly.
The Council met and nominated Richard Samans, Executive Director of GGGI, for the Director-General position. The group also adopted the Council Rules of Procedures as well as discussed the overall strategy of GGGI.