Dear Members of the Global Green Growth Institute,

Now that autumn is underway, I wanted to give an update on some recent GGGI-related activities over the past two months. After July’s Council meeting in Bali, the organization pressed on full steam ahead. We just concluded a very successful GGGI staff retreat held in Songdo and Seoul, Republic of Korea where we discussed the progress we have made on implementation of the GGGI Strategy, as well as identified more ways we can integrate the organization to strengthen our in-country green growth work. We also have been working on our Country Planning Framework process that you can read about below and have some exciting news about GGGI’s presence at COP21 in Paris. You will also find links to some of GGGI’s new articles and publications. So enjoy this newsletter and if you have any suggestions or questions, please email us at

One GGGI Management Week

yvoFrom September 14 to 18, GGGI held a week-long retreat that brought together people who work on GGGI projects in 17 different countries to evaluate the progress made in the implementation of GGGI’s Strategic Plan, adopted in November 2014. It was a very productive week in which we discussed and refined our work in-country as well as the knowledge services we have created to support project implementation. We also worked to strengthen our green investment services work and assessed where we are with our efforts to develop and deliver bankable projects in our partner countries.

It proved very valuable to have so many under one roof in our Songdo, Korea office in order to share success stories, lessons learned, and some of the challenges we are facing. After the events of last week, I am much more confident that the organization is moving in the right direction in terms of delivering what we’ve promised to our Members. Our mature programs, such as in the Philippines, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates are producing real results on the ground and beginning to deliver the transformational change we have been seeking, while some of our newer programs in places like Jordan, Thailand, and Vanuatu are showing great promise.

1 GGGI_reducedLikewise, I am happy with progress in our Knowledge Solutions Division. The retreat served to further integrate this division with that of Green Growth Planning & Implementation. We have identified a number of areas in which the divisions are or will be collaborating, such as supporting the Urban Green Growth Action plan in Vietnam, assisting with capacity development in Mexico, and providing technical inputs on our green energy work in Mongolia.

Please read more about the One GGGI Management Week here and see some photos from the retreat here.

Green Growth and the Sustainable Development Goals

Last week more than 190 countries convened in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals. For the occasion, I gave an extended interview to a UNAIDS publications on green growth in the post-2015 era. Among the items we discussed were GGGI’s successes and a green growth perspective on the importance of the upcoming COP21 in Paris.

You can read the full interview here.

Country Planning Frameworks

Rwanda CPF 2Each GGGI country team is developing a Country Planning Framework (CPF) in conjunction with partner country governments that is designed to provide an overall structure to the integrated green growth planning process that is aligned with GGGI’s Strategic Plan. More specifically, the process strives to ensure coherence to GGGI’s thematic work, deliver programmatic integration with the Knowledge Solutions Division of GGGI, reinforce that a given country’s green growth objectives are in alignment with its national priorities, and ensure relevance to the post-2015 agenda and contribution to the SDGs and INDCs.

The CPF process is co-owned with governments and sets strategic areas where GGGI country programs should focus their support that complement the government’s national and local priorities. These focus areas are then translated into a manageable set of results that will contribute to the country’s priorities. The overall goal is to bring a consistent, logical approach to achieve a country’s green growth objectives. We will present the initial CPFs in Colombia, Ethiopia, Mongolia, and the Philippines to the Council in November.

Recent GGGI International Cooperation Efforts and Partnerships

Scandinavia Mission, August 21-25
From August 21 to 25 I was delighted to visit two of GGGI’s oldest Member countries, Norway and Denmark to discuss the overall progress made in the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2015-2020. In Norway I met with senior officials in the Ministry of Climate and Environment where we discussed GGGI’s important efforts in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. In Denmark, I met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign Affairs Committee and a group of Danish NGOs, as well as a group of Danish Ambassadors to Least Developed Countries. We discussed a whole range of issues related to GGGI, including green investment advisory services, on which we hope to partner with Denmark, and our comprehensive LDC expansion plan.

Screen ShotI was also able to visit Sweden to give a lecture at Lund University’s International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics. You can view the video lecture, entitled A Global Green Growth Perspective, given as part of a course called Greening the Economy – Lessons from Scandinavia.


Upcoming Events

Third Joint Donor Review
From September 29 to October 8, GGGI will be hosting the Third Joint Donor Review, whereby representatives from Australia, Denmark, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom will perform a comprehensive assessment of the progress made in the operationalization of GGGI’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020 across our programs and operations. This includes a review of GGGI’s institutional status and development, our work at the country level, and knowledge management. Some participants will be making field visits to GGGI’s operations in the UAE and the Philippines and most will be visiting the Seoul HQ from October 5 to 7. We are happy to share our progress with these valuable GGGI Members and the results will be shared with all Member countries.

The Eighth Session of the GGGI Council
cropped 2On November 18 and 19, we will hold the Eighth Session of the Council in the Republic of Korea. Among the issues to be addressed and discussed are: the Director-General’s Second Progress Report, the Work Program and Budget, the Findings of the Third JDR, and Council Membership for 2016-2017. We will also hold strategic discussions on green cities and private sector involvement in green growth as well as present the first Country Planning Framework. Lastly we will discuss GGGI Week 2016, which includes hosting the GGKP conference, GGGS 2016, and the next Council and Assembly meetings.

GGGI is happy to announce that it will have a presence in Paris in December. We are participating in the NAMA Fair on December 2 and the Business, Industry, NGO (BINGO) day on the 4th. We will also be hosting or cohosting three events: a GreenInvest Side Event, Three Steps to Green Finance, and the launch of the Inclusive Green Growth Partnership.

Three Steps to Green Finance
This event, to be held on December 8, is designed to present GGGI’s vision for promoting and facilitating green investments, looking at the linkages among international and domestic sources of finance as well as bankable project pipeline development. We hope to learn from participants effective ways to provide support to GGGI’s membership in ways to mobilize green investment for green growth projects.

The event will be divided into three parts: innovative international finance, national finance instruments, and bankable projects. There will be a diverse group of participants from the private sector, GGGI Member countries, and other high-level officials.

Inclusive Green Growth Partnership
On December 7, GGGI will launch the Inclusive Green Growth Partnership that will consist of cooperation and collaboration with GGGI, multilateral development banks (MDBs), and regional bodies, such as United Nations Regional Commissions. The Partnership will support green growth and green investment through GGGI’s expertise in green growth, the MDBs’ expertise on issues surrounding finance, and regional organizations’ strength as convening platforms for policy dialogue. By joining forces and leveraging expertise, we believe that we can significantly increase the impact of all the institutions involved and increase the efficacy of green growth initiatives.

The event will welcome high-level officials from MDBs, Regional Commissions, and GGGI Member countries. In addition to the signing of the Partnership Declaration, we will be holding discussions and panel sessions that will help form the basis of our cooperation.

GGGI Publications

Below are a list of recent publications that have been produced in the last two months: (more…)

The Suva Declaration on climate change has the full support of South Korea when Fiji takes it to the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) in Paris in November.

This assurance was given by the South Korea’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Yun Byung-se, at the Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH) yesterday.

“I had been briefed on the Suva Declaration and South Korea will support it in Paris,” he said.

“On climate change, Fiji can benefit from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).”

Read the full article in the Fiji Sun here.

cc adaptationLONDON – September 21, 2015 – Developing countries recovering from extreme weather events should reshape their economies to adapt to future climate risks instead of only trying to restore existing economic activities, according to a paper published today by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at London School of Economics and Political Science.

The authors of the paper – Dr Adriana Kocornik-Mina and Professor Sam Fankhauser – find that attempts by developing countries to adapt to climate change have tended to ignore fast-paced structural changes to their economies. They argue that developing countries can best adapt to climate change if they acknowledge how rapidly their economies are evolving, particularly in rural areas.

The paper states: “Current approaches to adaptation often seek to preserve current structures, for example by protecting agricultural output, which neither acknowledges nor takes advantage of the fact that the status quo is evolving.”

It adds: “Effective adaptation policy must do more than simply shore up the status quo or protect economic activity that may soon be a relic of the past.”

The desire to protect existing activities can be particularly strong following natural disasters, when an economy is at its most vulnerable. However, it is argued that extreme weather events provide an opportunity for countries to adapt and become increasingly resilient to future climate risks.

The paper states: “After an extreme event, there is a temptation to rebuild the economy just as it was before, rather than factoring in manifest climate risks.”

For instance, adaptation plans often put too much emphasis on declining sectors, such as agriculture, and fail to invest in smaller sectors, such as the service sector, which are growing much more rapidly.

The paper points out that economic development plans tend to underestimate the risks associated with climate change, stating: “In climate change risk assessments, the anticipated future climate change is often imposed on today’s economies, rather than those of the future.”

The paper concludes that economic growth can actually help reduce long-term climate risk. It calls on economic development plans to accurately estimate climate risks and for climate change adaptation plans to take account for how a country’s economy is changing.

It states that “rapid economic change offers an opportunity to alter for the long term the risk profile of developing economies with respect to climate change. There is the possibility to build climate resilience into decisions from the outset. The economic structures and the physical infrastructure put in place now will determine risk profiles for decades to come.”

The report on ‘Climate change adaptation in dynamic economies’ was produced as part of the Grantham Research Institute’s programme on ‘Growth and the economy’, sponsored by the Global Green Growth Institute.

For more information about this media release, and to obtain copies of ‘Climate change adaptation in dynamic economies’, please contact Ben Parfitt on +44 (0) 207 955 6425 or, or Bob Ward on +44 (0) 7811 320346 or


Notes to Editors
1. Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization founded to support and promote green growth. The organization partners with countries to help them build economies that grow strongly, are more efficient and sustainable in the use of natural resources, less carbon intensive, and more resilient to climate change. GGGI works with countries around the world, building their capacity and working collaboratively on green growth policies that can impact the lives of millions.  To learn more, see and visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

2. The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment ( was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (

SessionSEOUL – September 18, 2015 – The Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) annual retreat concluded today in Songdo, Republic of Korea, with a commitment to redouble efforts to support transitions toward green growth, increase green investment flows for bankable projects and enhance knowledge sharing and South-South cooperation.

The week-long “One GGGI” retreat gathered staff from all parts of the organization and throughout the world to take stock of progress made in 2015; year one of the comprehensive GGGI Strategic Plan adopted in November 2014.

“GGGI is moving in the right direction and will continue to do so in large part due to the enthusiastic and collaborative discussions driven by our committed colleagues this week,” said Yvo de Boer, Director-General of GGGI.

“The work delivered here has strengthened GGGI’s strategic vision and the green growth service offerings we will deliver as one.”

The full spectrum of GGGI’s work was covered during the five-day retreat, including implementation of in-country green growth projects, development of research-based tools to support implementation, advancement of investment services to deliver bankable projects, and the enhancement of outreach and communications to engage key audiences and stakeholders.

A reoccurring theme throughout One GGGI was the understanding that effective integration across GGGI departments and work programs is critical for the successful delivery of green growth initiatives on the ground.

“It has been exciting to see the great work that colleagues are delivering around the world, but it is more encouraging to note the shared belief that by working together closely we can achieve even greater results,” said Anna van Paddenburg, Country Representative of GGGI’s Indonesia program.

The One GGGI retreat served as an interactive platform to share success stories and lessons learned, and enhance the productive relationships between GGGI staff collaborating on over 30 green growth projects in 22 countries around the world.

About GGGI
Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization founded to support and promote green growth. The organization partners with countries to help them build economies that grow strongly, are more efficient and sustainable in the use of natural resources, less carbon intensive, and more resilient to climate change. GGGI works with countries around the world, building their capacity and working collaboratively on green growth policies that can impact the lives of millions.

To learn more, see and visit us on Facebook and Twitter.