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Revolve Media speaks with Yvo de Boer, Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) about including environmental costs in economic growth models.
Read the full interview.
SEOUL – March 30, 2015 – Understanding innovation systems is critical to developing environmental policy that fosters green growth innovation, according to a new report published by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).
Emphasizing the importance of innovation for sustained economic growth in both advanced and developing countries, A Guide to Innovation Systems Analysis for Green Growth examines how innovation occurs and how policymakers can enable and accelerate it within a green growth context.
“Innovation is acknowledged as a necessary element of continuous socio-economic growth, and developing countries have taken important preliminary steps to build-up innovation capacity”, said Yvo de Boer, Director-General, GGGI. “The challenge now is to support countries that desire a green growth development model to unlock sustainable growth through green growth innovation”.
According to the report, however, developing countries are largely unprepared to practice and benefit from green growth innovation. Further, there exists a dearth of analytical resources specifically addressing green growth innovation.
The report, therefore, aims to bridge this gap by providing green growth practitioners with an analytical framework to assess innovation systems and develop useful policy insights that will drive innovation towards a green growth trajectory.
“Building on the knowledge already developed through the study of innovation systems, this report delivers a detailed method of analysis that takes into account market-failure related environmental externalities and the need to examine policies that are critical to green growth innovation”, said Myung Kyoong Lee, Director of Knowledge Services, GGGI.
The analytical method presented in the report includes guidelines designed to facilitate analysis based on conditions unique to particular innovation systems.
The report’s approach proceeds through three key steps: identifying the level at which the innovation system will be analyzed (i.e. national, regional, sectoral, or technological); mapping the innovation system to understand the actors, roles, interactions and possible barriers that impact an innovation system; and describing the activities and dynamics of the innovation system in terms of key functions.
By applying this innovation systems analysis, the report notes that green growth practitioners will be able to diagnose the functioning of an innovation system and develop recommendations for mechanisms that will improve those functions and, in turn, strengthen green growth innovation.
Read the report.
LONDON – March 26, 2015 – Governments cannot yet evaluate whether ‘green’ policies are creating or destroying jobs due to a lack of data and poor methods, according to a new report published today by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science.
The authors of the report, Dr Alex Bowen and Dr Karlygash Kuralbayeva, recommend a number of improvements that are needed by governments and other policy-makers, including reaching an agreement about a common definition of a ‘green job’ that is applied consistently across the world.
The report states: “There are many claims and counter-claims about whether ‘green growth’ creates or destroys jobs. But fully assessing the consequences of environmental policies for employment presents a considerable challenge, and at present it is not possible for policy-makers to assess conflicting claims about the quality and quantity of ‘green jobs’ that have already been created, or may be created in the future.”
It notes that the compilation of national green jobs statistics in the UK and United States has “slackened”, and calls for them to “restore the momentum”.
The report highlights different ways that are being used to assess green jobs: “One approach is to focus on categorizing existing jobs that help provide environmental and resource management services”.
The report states: “There is some evidence that such jobs are growing in number – a bit faster than employment as a whole – but from a low base. But with climate change mitigation measures strengthening around the world, it is important for national statistical agencies to get a better grasp on what is happening to employment (and GDP) in these industry sectors, so that they can alert policy-makers to the extent of structural change that such policies are inducing.”
However, the report also draws attention to another approach which involves counting “the jobs created and destroyed directly when firms adopt low-carbon technologies and switch to lower carbon inputs, regardless of the primary output of the firms”. It states: “Such an approach is also helpful in assessing the scale of structural change required by the transition to green growth”.
The authors of the report conclude that policy-makers need better information about how green policies also affect labour markets indirectly though supply chains and through changes in overall demand. It states: “The consequences of green policies for labour markets working through macroeconomic channels – such as changes in labour productivity and the costs of employment – are often overlooked.”
The report also stresses that “[f]rom the perspective of national policy-makers, the net change in total employment (and average job quality) across the economy as a result of green policies is at least as important as the direct gross change in employment in environmental sectors.”
And the overall net impact on employment will depend on factors such as the degree of spare capacity in the economy, what governments do with the revenues from environmental taxes and how much extra investment there is in low-carbon infrastructure and innovation.
The report states: “It is important for national statistical agencies to get a better grasp on what is happening to employment in terms of low-carbon industry, so that they can alert policy-makers to the extent of structural change that such policies are inducing.” The potential for job creation is considerable, with the right labour market policies.
But headline figures about the number of ‘green jobs’ created by environmental policies are misleading by themselves since they do not account for the number of ‘brown jobs’ in dirty industries that are lost as a result, nor for knock-on effects in the rest of the economy.
The report states: “National policy-makers should develop strategies for coping with employment losses in the sectors that will suffer from green growth policies, remembering that this may include sectors hit by higher real prices for currently carbon-intensive inputs (such as electricity, aluminium and cement).”
The report on ‘Looking for ‘green’ jobs: The impact of green growth on employment’ was produced as part of the Grantham Research Institute’s programme on ‘Growth and the economy’, sponsored by the Global Green Growth Institute.
Read the report here.
The impact of electricity price increases on the competitiveness of selected mining sector and smelting value chains in South Africa project report investigates the relationship between South Africa’s mining value chains and a greener development path. It explores whether recent electricity price increases have triggered a shift towards greener behaviours and practices by local mining and linked manufacturing companies.
The report was prepared by GGGI and the South-African based Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) organization on behalf of the Economic Development Department (EDD) and the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) of South Africa.
Read the report here.