Speaking at the Global Green Growth Institute Conference in Incheon City, Republic of Korea, on 19th November, Mrs Robinson highlighted the need for a ’vision at scale’ to eliminate poverty, generate sustainable economic growth, and combat climate change
The GGGI conference examined the relationship between green growth and the creative economy with the aim of identifying the leadership and actions that are required to accelerate green growth in developing countries. It brought together participants from the public sector, private businesses, and civil society for discussions centered around three key drivers of green growth and creative economy: technology, finance, and inclusiveness.
Acknowledging that the scale of the climate challenge is immense Mrs Robinson reminded her audience that we have the collective capacity to deal with the challenge:
“We have known for some time that we must construct a future society where inclusive, low carbon growth advances development and human rights. That means fostering decent jobs and livelihoods, improving equality including gender equality, expanding people’s access to sustainable energy and affordable, nutritious food; supporting sustainable cities; maintaining forests and other vital eco-systems; and enhancing the health of both people and the planet.”
Mrs Robinson identified two missing elements in current efforts to tackle the climate change challenge: global political leadership that will enable the international community to reach a climate agreement in Paris next December and the need to catalyse action at scale. Acknowledging that the required political leadership is starting to emerge in a way that has never happened before she cautioned that it is at times tentative and often inadequate.
Mrs Robinson also spoke of the need to construct a future where vulnerable countries, communities and households are sufficiently resilient to deal with the impacts of climate change. She said that ‘inclusiveness’ or what she calls ‘climate justice’ can become an empowering narrative which acts as an acccelator for climate action. Mrs Robinson noted that the ‘new innovation and imagination’ required to meet the climate challenge would only be possible if it draws on the perspectives and ideas that emerge from the people, businesses and governments of the developing world.
Other speakers at the Opening Plenary included H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Incoming Chair of Council and Assembly President of GGGI and Former President of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Yoo Jeong-bok, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City, and H.E. Dr. Yoon Seong-kyu, Minister of Environment, Republic of Korea. The plenary was moderated by Mr. Yvo de Boer, Director-General, GGGI.