COPENHAGEN -October 21, 2013 -The Ethiopian government demonstrated their continued commitment to environmental issues at the third Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) in Copenhagen in October. Prime Minister Ato Hailemariam Desalegn addressed the opening plenary and the Opportunity Africa session. He was accompanied to the Forum by Minister of Environmental Protection Ato Belete Tafere. The establishment of the Ministry in August is a strong indication of the government’s pledge to delivering on its commitment to fulfill its Climate Resilience Green Economy (CRGE) initiative, the cornerstone of Ethiopia’s economic growth blueprint. The 3GF summit was an ideal venue for the Minister to hold his first international bilateral meetings as the summit brings together government officials and international organizations taking action to champion green growth. Adam Ward, The Deputy Country Representative of GGGI-Ethiopia also attended at the request of Ato Belete, serving as his advisor.
The minister held several bilateral meetings during the two-day summit. His first-ever meeting with GGGI Director General, Howard Bamsey, and the Director of the Copenhagen Office, Hans Jakob Erikson, was held on the opening day of the summit. Ato Belete — having taken up his post in August — praised the great work that has been done with GGGI thus far and expressed his pleasure with the current partnership with GGGI. He noted that he is looking forward to continuing the close relationship both with the GGGI council and as Ethiopia implements its impressive green growth ambitions.
The Minister also met with H.E. Rene Castro, the Costa Rican Minister for Environment and Energy, and other GGGI council Members to discuss the steps Ethiopia is taking to make its CRGE vision a reality, highlighting the progress being made in developing the CRGE strategies and drafting of documents that are vital to making the strategy operational on the grounds. The meeting with H.E. Castro was a success with both Ministers agreeing for future cooperation and experience-sharing to reach their common green growth ambitions. The two countries will work together with a focus on forest conservation and the important role both countries play on the GGGI council.
Overall, the Minister’s visit to the summit was a great success – it introduced the new Ministry and amplified the steps Ethiopia is taking to live up to its CRGE commitments. Ethiopia recognizes it’s vulnerability to climate change and understands it takes collaborated efforts, where the summit allowed for a great exchange of ideas and solidifying important relationships.