East European states were trained by UNEP this week on ways in which the transition to a Green Economy can continue to take place in their countries.
Held on 9-10 February in Romania’s Presidential Palace, government, civil society and business representatives from 19 countries attended an event to discuss existing and potential moves to support energy efficiency in buildings, green labelling and procurement and renewable energies for example.
“The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has truly provided new momentum for sustainable consumption and production, both as goal 12 [on responsible consumption] and in 12 other goals,” said Jan Dusik, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe, at the event.
A regional eco-innovation centre or working group on SCP expertise could now be set up in the region as part of the 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP), under which the meeting was held, he noted.
The countries shared success stories and challenges thus far and identified areas for future actions at both national and regional level.
Mr. Laszlo Borbely, Chairman of Committee for Foreign Policy of Romania, highlighted how building political will and empowering parliamentary action is key for the success of the SDGs. Awareness-raising among youths will be essential for changing mentalities and applying the goals on the ground over the next 15 years, he added.
Greater involvement of non-government stakeholders – and in particular the private sector – will be crucial for accelerating implementation of SCP and the overall 2030 agenda, said H.E. Christiana Pasca Palmer, the Romanian Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests.
Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) - synonymous with a Green Economy – should meanwhile feature prominently in the upcoming Environment for Europe conference of Ministers, she added.
Growth without harming the planet
The 10YFP programme aims to develop and replicate policies, tools and initiatives that promote sustainable consumption and production, eradicate poverty and decouple countries’ economic growth from environmental degradation.
Policies for supporting SCP in Eastern Europe can come under national strategies for sustainable development or the environment, as well as specific legislation such as on ecological areas. Some 124 countries have already appointed national 10YFP focal points worldwide.
This week’s event was organised together with Romania’s Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests and sponsored by the European Commission and the Federal Office of the Environment of the Swiss Federation.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(image: H.E. Christiana Pasca Palmer, Romanian Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests, addresses delegates)