Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Green Economy


The Northern Alliance for Sustainability (ANPED)
ANPED, the Northern Alliance for Sustainability, is an international not-for-profit organization representing a vast network of NGOs in the Northern hemisphere with a mission to pro-actively promote the agenda on environmental justice and systemic change for the Economy. We also empower Northern civil society through capacity development, exchanges and knowledge sharing while working in close cooperation with Southern civil society and other stakeholders, for the creation and protection of sustainable societies worldwide. Read more about our vision and joins us! 
 ANPED @ UN CSD 2012 RIO+20
ANPED is the organizing partner responsible for providing the NGO Major Group input into the UN Sustainable Development process and within the UNECE region (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), ANPED is the main actor promoting Sustainable Consumption/Production and global justice, through a fair natural resources management.

During the informals of the 3º Intersessional Meeting for UNCSD in NYC, ANPED, Danish92 and CED will organize a strategy meeting to discuss how to integrate the 9 baseline principles of the Green Economy in the Rio+20 outcome document. It will take place in NYC, at the Baha'i Center (opposite to UN), Thursday 22 of March from 10:00 to 13:00.
EU Conference on Rio+20: “Achieving Global Justice in the Green Economy.” This event will stimulate innovative thinking towards concrete proposals for a fair natural resources sharing worldwide.
The green economy is currently dominating the environment and development discours. The Rio+20 conference will focus on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.
For many politicians the new solution is "green growth". It is claimed that the Green Economy is the way out of the ongoing economic, climate, energy, water and food crises, by restructuring our economies to enourage and sustain green energy, green growth and green jobs.
A Green economy can be a big step forward. But there are many problems beyond reach of a green economy: such moves will not on their own solve problems of inequity in incomes, access to resources and quality of life, nor tackle pollution from existing industry and environmental degradation.
Another danger exists that from now on all ecosystem services will be quantified in order to include it in the market which will then solve all our problems. When reading the green economy report, made by UNEP, a lot is said, but a lot of issues are not touched to acieve a real sustainable society where equity and human rights are also respected.
Our goal is not only getting to the green economy, but to a sustainable world for all. Therefore, we want to make sure that any discussion on green economy is actually fully embedded in the next part of that sentence: a context of sustainable development and poverty erradication. We don't need a greenwashed capitalistic economy. Some already fear that this is where Rio+20 is headed to.
When we talk about the green economy, we have to be clear on the basic principles underlining these terms. But we also have to look further, to the 'Beyond Growth and GDP discussion'. The planet has its limits, we have to recognise them and live with it !
In full recognition of the Rio Principles, the following set of principles are proposed to specify guidelines for the Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication. They serve to focus the debate on how to ensure that economies are effective means to the higher goal of sustainability, rather than threatening it.

The Earth Integrity Principle: The Earth, her natural communities and ecosystems, possess the inalienable right to exist, flourish and evolve, and to continue the vital cycles, structures, functions and processes that sustain all beings. Every human has the duty to protect her.

The Planetary Boundaries Principle: The Planetary Boundaries Principle clearly establishes that human development is dependent on intact ecosystems and that there are limits to economic growth. Safe economic systems must respect such limits and governments need to set clear long-term targets to maintain a reliable operating space.

The Dignity Principle: The Dignity Principle upholds that every human being, now and in the future, has the right to livelihood. Poverty eradication and redistribution of wealth should be the main priority of governance and measured in those terms.

The Justice Principle: The Justice Principle upholds fair sharing of all benefits and burdens. This includes the use of natural resources, access to goods and services, and the responsibility to avoid and compensate for damages. All institutions, corporations and decision-makers need to be subject to equal standards of accountability and personal responsibility for their decisions.

Precautionary Principle: The Precautionary Principle should be applied to ensure that new products and technologies do not have destructive or unexpected effects on environmental, social, or human wellbeing. The ‘burden of proof’ lies with the developer or initiator and problem shifting needs to be avoided.

The Resilience Principle: The Resilience Principle emphasises that diversity and diversification are preconditions for sustainability and quality of life. A diversity of organisational models and governance levels needs to be cultivated, along with diversified economic activity that minimizes commodity dependence.

The Governance Principle: The Governance Principle states that subsidiary democracy must be upheld and revitalised in accordance with the principle of prior informed consent. All policies, rules and regulation need for transparent and participatory negotiations that include all affected people. Structural transformation should be driven by appropriate public investments that guarantee benefit sharing.

The Beyond-GDP Principle: The Beyond-GDP Principle recognises the inherent limits and distorting effects of using GDP as a measure of progress and welfare. Policy goals and monitoring need to be guided by integrated measures on environmental, social, human and economic wellbeing, taking into account diverse interpretations of human welfare.

For further information on further plans and to provide feedback on the above principles, please contact Maja Göpel (World Future Council) maja.goepel@worldfuturecouncil.org or Leida Rijnhout (ANPED) leida@anped.org
Beyond Growth / GDP
Upcoming Events
Useful Links 

ANPED Publications

April 2010 ANPED publishes leaflet on Sustainable Consumption and Production
One of the core issues for ANPED is Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), as this is at the heart of Sustainability. The next 2-year cycle of the CSD will also deal with the topic of SCP, in the review of the 10 year framework of SCP - the Marrakech process. To stress our position in this process we decided to publish a new leaflet.
 If you want to be updated and participating on our discussions and process work during those two years, please write a mail to leida[at]anped.org, and we will subscribe you.
More information on the process including papers of all stakeholders is available on the website of CSD-18

March 2010: Short survey of relevant indexes and sets of indicators concerning development towards sustainability.
A new report of ANPED, written by Geurt van de Kerk and Arthur Manuel of the Sustainable Society Foundation.  This new publication gives a very good overview of the various indexes and sets of indicators used nowadays by NGOs and governments. Policymakers find it always difficult to measure sustainable development, because of the complexity. Nevertheless it is very urgent to use alternative indicators, to know the progress or decrease of the SD-goals. As is mentioned in this publication the "perfect" index or set of indicators does not exist. But that does not mean that we cannot start using alternative indicators right away.
Fact is that the ‘golden calf indicator’, the GDP, does not measure anything remotely connected to sustainable development. 

March 2008: A new report by Chris Church, Co-Chair of the Northern Alliance for Sustainability, ANPED, and Tamara Malkova, Director of Green Dossier, looks at the role of NGOs in tackling climate change. The report, Action on Climate Change: From a Divided Europe to a Common Purpose, is based on a survey carried out by NGOs within the ANPED Network in autumn 2007. It looked first at government action on climate change across Europe. It became clear early on that Europe is divided on this issue. Nations that are part of the EU and that have clear targets under the Kyoto protocol are mostly moving in the right direction (often slowly). But in the eastern part of the pan-European region there are very variable approaches. The survey also looked at NGO activity, asked whether and how the NGO was active on climate change. Again there were big differences between east and west.

[Russian version]  

January 2008: Biodiversity and Sustainable Consumption: A Qualified Analysis and Unqualified Suggestions. What biodiversity implies for sustainable consumption and thus what sustainable consumption can do for biodiversity is an issue neglected so far in both, the biodiversity and the sustainable consumption discourses. This paper compares the place biodiversity and consumption hold in the overall sustainable development discourse, and focuses on the known reasons for biodiversity loss, asking how they could be influenced, in particular by sustainable consumption.
Dr. Joachim Spangenberg is a biologist, ecologist and economist. From 1992 to 1999 he was in charge of the taskforce on “Sustainable Societies” at the Wuppertal Institute and worked as a scientific associate at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin and the Institute for European Environmental Policy in Bonn. Since 1999 he is the Vice-President of the Sustainable Europe Research Institute.

September 2007: Towards Sustainable Production and Consumption Patterns: Country Reports. Since its foundation, ANPED and its member organisations have constantly worked to improve consumption and production patterns in a sustainable manner. In this context the ANPED Sustainable Production and Consumption working group bridges the day to day work on local and national level with the political processes in the international arena.
The collection presented here provides an observation of 11 national NGOs what is done and not done in their countries to improve production and consumption patterns – by their governments as well as by the NGO community. This is for comparison between countries, and beyond that it intends to set a clear signal that NGOs all over Europe and beyond are keen to see improvements towards sustainable consumption and production and are prepared to contribute their knowledge and capacities.

March 2007: ANPED CSD Manual. This document is prepared for a group of NGOs or other units of civil society to come together at a workshop, discuss, map opportunities, develop and compose a strategy and a plan to engage their constituencies in such a way that it may lead to greater interest in andinteraction with sustainable development issues in the nation. The purpose of such a workshop is not to reinvent the wheel, or make new and adventurous forays into the undiscovered world of sustainability. The purpose is to re-discover and be conscious of the already existing possibilities and to devise methods whereby we can use existing and officially accepted priorities to promote and refine concerns that are at the heart of ‘We the Peoples’ and thus fulfil the UN Charter’s bold and noble intentions.

Social and Community Enterprise: A European Perspective. This report is produced by the Northern Alliance for Sustainability (ANPED), and outlines the progress of social and community enterprise in Europe within the context of sustainable development. It describes historical factors that have determined the development of the social economy, and illustrates how this now makes an important contribution to social and business life across Europe.
The report includes information about just a few of the many and varied organisations that can be described as social or community enterprises, ranging from informal community organisations to large businesses operating within strict legal criteria. The report makes recommendations on practice and policy to encourage a more sustainable society.

Water is Life! From Global Declarations to Concrete Actions. [English] [Russian] This publication offers stories on how very different people in various countries solve the problems of access to drinking water, ensuring safety of water resources and sanitation. The ANPED network actively participates in international processes at various levels representing its members who achieve success in concrete actions on the ground.
The relationship between global decisions and their implementation can be seen in the activities of concrete organizations. Making this publication possible has been another example of international cooperation early in the decade that, following the UN decision, will pass under the "Water for Life" slogan.

Building Our Own Futures: Local Action for Sustainable Development across Europe in the 21st Century. This report is produced by the Northern Alliance for Sustainability (ANPED). ANPED links NGOs in all parts of the UNECE region. It seeks to highlight the value of local action for sustainable development, not just in its’ own terms but also where it is linked to a wider political agenda.

Local action for sustainable development takes literally hundreds of different forms, and within each of those forms there may in turn be hundreds of similar projects. Most successful LA21s owe much of that success to the active roles played by local NGOs. It is possible to identify eight broad areas within local action: Raising awareness; Meeting local needs and building capacity; Tackling local problems; Support for national action; Local planning and cooperation; Project development; Stronger local governance; Integrated development programmes – Local Agenda 21 and beyond.