Yvo de Boer, director general of the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and former executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), talks to Blue & Green Tomorrow about the obstacles that are keeping both developing countries and the west from a low-carbon revolution.
Former global chairman of Climate Change and Sustainability Services at KPMG and UN’s climate secretary from 2006 to 2010, De Boer was able to gather political leaders at Copenhagen’s climate summit in 2009, where civil groups and NGOs rallied to demand strong commitment to curb climate change.
De Boer, now the director general of the Global Green Growth Institute, an organisation supporting developing countries to promote sustainable economic growth, speaks to Ilaria Bertini about the clean energy transition in Europe and in developing countries.
What are the main challenges that are preventing developing countries from achieving green growth?
The first is that many developing countries are inclined to follow the economic growth model of industrialisation of the West, because they have seen how it has worked for us. Secondly, many of them do not have the institutional or analytical capacity to understand how a different and more sustainable model of economic growth could be attractive for their country. A third aspect for many, but not all, developing countries is that the base of their economy is to sell natural resources, from minerals to wood or agricultural products, to other countries, so their economy is highly dependent on exports. This is why we as an institution help countries to understand where or how a more sustainable model can be attractive to them and to build the institutional capacity that allows them to assess what would be in their interest.
Read the full interview.