Productive employment and inclusive market-driven growth are preconditions for development and poverty reduction. However, external and internal pressure on the natural resources of many developing countries, climate change and non-sustainable production patterns can contribute to instability and risk compromising the access of future generations to essential resources. Therefore, increased opportunities for generating income must be balanced against sustainable management of, and more equitable access to, natural resources. A green economy facilitates sustainable development and poverty reduction, whereby many challenges are converted to economic opportunities that promote growth and jobs. However, this requires investments in sustainable management of natural resources, sensible market and regulatory conditions, improved governance, social dialogue on the labour market, and private sector involvement.
Green growth and transition to a green economy is a core element of the EU’s overall growth strategy towards 2020 and an important focus area in Agenda for Change. Just as Denmark’s development policy strategy, it recognises the need for inclusive and sustainable growth in order to ensure access for all to prosperity and the increased job creation. The EU’s multi-annual financial framework for 2014-2020 lays down that 20 per cent of future funds are to be spent on climate-related activities. This will entail investments in efficient and renewable energy sources, relevant infrastructure and climate change adaptation. Climate considerations are to be integrated across major EU programmes, including policy areas outside environment and climate. Energy and agriculture are important sectors for the programming of EU development assistance for the next seven-year period. A number of blending mechanisms are also being developed, which may comprise interest subsidies, a guarantee or venture capital, and shall contribute to generating funds from the private sector and financing institutions. These can support and supplement finance-intensive initiatives within green growth, climate and energy.
The EU has the required financial strength and breadth to implement resource-intensive initiatives within green growth, climate and energy. Over the past decades, the EU has played a significant and ambitious role in international negotiations, for example during the climate change negotiations in 2011 in Durban. Through the EU, Denmark can influence the broad growth and trade policy dialogue with partner countries, also in those where Denmark is not present, including in middle-income countries where Denmark may have commercial interests.
In its cooperation with the EU on green growth, Denmark will take its starting point in the priorities set out in Denmark’s Strategic Framework for Natural Resources, Energy and Climate Change.
Denmark will work to ensure that the EU continues to play a lead role in the international negotiations on environment and climate and spearheads the efforts to create global solutions to global problems. The EU must support the opportunities of developing countries to tap the potential of inclusive green growth. This applies particularly to innovative approaches to technology and financing as well as to new accessible and relevant energy sources for the rural and urban poor. Through the EU, Denmark will contribute to an effective climate diplomacy which can pave the way for an ambitious international climate agreement in 2015 that underpins a low-emission development process with the aim of forestalling the adverse impacts of climate change. This requires climate change initiatives become a strategic priority in the EU’s diplomatic dialogue and in initiatives at multilateral, regional and bilateral level. During the Danish EU Presidency in 2012, the EU committed approximately DKK 3 billion in support to the UN initiative Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL). It is a Danish priority that the EU support for this initiative is maintained.
At country level, the EU must strengthen its political dialogue on green transition with the priority countries. There is need for support to enable these countries: to build up institutions and capacity to engage actively in the international climate negotiations; to act as a strong counterpart in commercial negotiations on natural resources; and to develop good framework conditions. There is also a need for developing major infrastructure projects that can be financed by the international climate funding mechanisms.
Denmark will work to ensure that the EU, in its cooperation with the partner countries, pursues open and inclusive decision-making processes regarding, for example, energy issues and integrated natural resource management in accordance with international conventions such as ILO Convention 169 on the rights of indigenous peoples. Through the human rights-based approach to development within green growth, Denmark can focus on ensuring access to energy and natural resources for the poor and strengthen their resilience to the impacts of climate change. The work on sustainable agriculture, food security and resilience must be core elements of the EU’s efforts to promote green growth and transition. Denmark will therefore support the EU’s efforts to ensure that access to food is not undermined by increased economic growth or energy security.
Denmark will seek to ensure that in its work on green growth, the EU recognises and creates solutions that address the inter-linkage between food security, water, energy and climate. In order to create long-term solutions, the EU must strengthen the capacity in the world’s developing countries for sustainable food production. This entails building on existing effective initiatives, such as the EU Food Facility of DKK 7.5 billion, which has improved the lives of more than 59 million people in 49 countries over the last three years. However, it will also require action through several sectors and that the EU ensures coherence with a large number of other political initiatives in trade, health, environment, employment and transport.
It is vital that a holistic approach to the work on green growth is adopted and that the EU’s energy, resource and environmental policies as well as development policy are coordinated so as to ensure maximum possible coherence. Denmark will work to ensure that the EU promotes stronger integration and coherence of environment and development through common ambitions and processes. This requires closer cooperation between the Commission’s different services.
This also applies to the international work, including the efforts to develop a new post-2015 global framework for sustainable development. This work is now undertaken in a collaboration between the Commission’s Directorates-General for Development and for the Environment, respectively, and is based on a mandate approved by the Environment Council as well as the Development Council. Denmark will support the Commission’s efforts to maintain an integrated approach in view of formulating a single set of post-2015 global sustainable development goals. Denmark will also work to ensure that Danish priorities are reflected in the EU’s position for the negotiations regarding a new global financial architecture for sustainable development after 2015.
It is important that both the Danish and European private sectors are involved in the work to promote green growth and job creation and that the opportunities for partnerships are better utilised. The development of innovative funding mechanisms is a step in this direction. The preconditions for the private sector’s participation in climate-relevant investments must be improved, while ensuring that the investments contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development. The creation of green jobs must be supported, i.e. decent jobs in the green economy or in the transition process. This also needs development of social safety nets and other forms of social protection as well as the promotion of decent working conditions and labour rights, including inclusion of social partners.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of DenmarkDanidaAsiatisk Plads 2 DK-1448 Copenhagen K Tel. +45 33 92 00 00Fax +45 32 54 05 firstname.lastname@example.org