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Innovation and Intelligence contribute to cities with future Cities are at the heart of the transition to the green economy. Urban areas are centres of creativity, innovation, employment and economic growth, and are also the main source of environmental problems, such as carbon emissions and pollution, loss of biodiversity and the inefficient use of resources, and therefore translate into privileged stages for the development and testing of innovative green solutions in a real context and with the participation of users. INTELI’s interest on the ‘green economy’ and ‘green growth’ concepts derives from a diverse set of reasons. Firstly, because we seek to reflect and generate knowledge about the evolution of territories, trying to anticipate and contribute to the emergence of new or renovated development paradigms. Secondly, these are themes that begin to be present on the agenda of international and national organizations, albeit with a high degree of politicisation, our mission being to implement them and root them in the local community, namely in cooperation with our cities and regions. Thirdly, because some of the sectors identified as critical in the context of the green economy have caught INTELI’s attention, focusing on areas of sustainable urban planning, intelligent mobility and green buildings. Finally, social innovation is one of the work areas of our organization that seeks to enhance not only the role of the economy and technology, but also of culture and social cohesion in the programs and initiatives that it develops. Without wishing to make value judgments or take sides for potentially divergent options, we intend only to convey information, to generate public discussion and encourage the participation of political and social actors in shaping the future of cities. Especially when getting closer to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO +20), which will take place in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June, which chose the green economy as the core of the debate.




Coordinator of SBCI - “Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative” - UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme

For UNEP, moving towards a green economy is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In a green economy, growth in income should be driven by public and private investments – investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In other words, a green economy is a vehicle for achieving sustainable development. In a green economy, job creation can come in many forms - from urban agriculture and renewable energy to green construction and waste management. Upgrading to greener infrastructures will generate jobs, so will creating more effective recycling services. What opportunities exist for green economic strategies to benefit low-income neighborhoods and combat poverty eradication? Is green economy an inclusive paradigm? One of the greatest opportunities is for sustainable social housing. UNEP has an initiative to embed sustainable building policies and practices in social housing to create more efficient housing units. The benefits are significant- for governments, the private sector, and tenants. Sustainable building practices result in more efficient designs, reduce energy and water demands and reduce infrastructure and development costs of governments. Private sector participation in construction and development supports development of jobs- many in the communities where the housing is being developed. Importantly, those tenants of social housing who pay utility costs benefit from significantly lower energy and water bills, providing more flexibility in their limited resources. UNEP considers cities as one of the key sectors within the green economy paradigm. What is the role of cities in the green economy? By focusing on cities, we can find new innovative solutions to reduce the human pressure on natural habitats and ecosystems, and embrace new low-carbon development paths that will not only be beneficial to the environment, but also to the economy and society at large. Cities produce most of the world’s economic output. Urban based economies account for 55% of GNP in Least Developed Countries, and up to 85% in most developed countries.

They are also hubs of consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste production. But when designed in an intelligent way with an intelligent infrastructure, they have a high potential to increase energy and resource efficiency.

In a green economy, job creation can come in many forms - from urban agriculture and renewable energy to green construction and waste management.

How can the investment in green economy contribute to economic development and job creation?

At the same time, cities have agglomeration benefits that drive innovation, business development and job creation. In other words, it is “how” cities are designed – their density, mixed-use urban form and their infrastructure – that matter. According with your work in the UNEP – SBCI, what is the impact of greening the building sector in the urban context? Do you think that greening the building sector could induce benefits in other related sectors? UNEP-SBCI recognises the great potential of the building sector to promote resource efficiency and more sustainable consumption and production patterns, especially in the urban context and across multiple sectors. The building sector accounts for approximately 10% of global GDP, and more than 111 million jobs. Activities in the building sector have considerable impact on waste, water, energy and transport sectors in construction and operational stages. Greening the building sector supply chain could have positive effects across multiple sectors: - Reductions in waste generation from construction and more efficient operations - Reduced water consumption in construction and through water-saving features - Reduced energy consumption through energy efficiency - Smart decisions in materials sourcing reduces transport, and integrated planning decisions take into account transit options and alternative forms of transportation to buildings.


GREEN ECONOMY - A NEW PARADIGM? The financial, economic, political, environmental, energy, food and civilization crisis of the past few years, globally related but with different aspects and intensities in different countries (Santos, 2010) have shown the exhaustion of the prevailing development paradigm: the economic growth. The economic growth has been achieved at the expense of the environment and society, even several years after the introduction of the concept of ‘sustainable development’ in the Brutland Report (1987), a model that has been reaffirming in various international political conventions such as the Earth summit in 1992 or the Johannesburg Summit in 2002. © Mónica Sousa

The current economic, environmental and social challenges are unprecedented, in a planet in which we witness the harmful impact of climate change, loss of biodiversity, increased pollution, water scarcity, degradation of ecosystems, poverty, inequality and social exclusion. The statistics show a 38% increase in annual carbon emissions derived from fossil fuels between 1990 and 2009, while 27% of the population lives in extreme poverty, 20% have no access to electricity and 884 million people do not have drinking water (UN, 2012). These figures call into question the fulfilment of the millennium development goals for 2015. ALTERNATIVE FUTURE As development alternatives, the green economy and green growth have been increasingly present in the political discourse of international organizations and national and local governments, in particular within


the “Green Economy Initiative” of UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme and the “Green Growth Strategy” of the OECD. Although there are no absolute or universal solutions, many national governments have been investing in this paradigm as part of their development policies, such as the pioneer case of Korea, which in 2010 created the “Global Green Growth Institute” or the UK which in 2011 launched the strategy “Enabling the Transition to a Green Economy: Government and Business working together”.

“ As well as a sustainable urban planning, the impact of buildings and transport is critical as part of the transition onto a green urban economy.

The central objective of the green economy is to promote economic growth and investment, while increasing the quality of the environment and social inclusion.

According to UNEP (2011), the green economy is a low-carbon economy, resource-efficient and socially inclusive, resulting in “improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”. As for the OECD (2011), green growth “means fostering economic growth and development, while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental

The importance of cities in the scenario of the green economy leads to a strong need for local governments to participate in international debates

Many believe that the ‘green economy’ and ‘green growth’ concepts can be used indiscriminately; others argue that they are different models also due to the fact that they are promoted by various international organizations1. Regardless of these differences, what really matters is that a new paradigm is advocated, in which the creation of material wealth is not achieved at the expense of the environment and society. The central objective of the green economy is to promote economic growth and investment, while increasing the quality of the environment and social inclusion. For UNEP (2011), the transition to a green economy is based on public and private investments in a number of key sectors: agriculture, fisheries, forest, water, transport, renewable energy, industry, waste, buildings, tourism and cities. These investments will reduce carbon emissions and pollution, promote energy and resources efficiency, and prevent loss of biodiversity and degradation of the ecosystem, leading to the creation of companies and growth of green jobs. Moreover, as the green growth approach highlights (OECD, 2011), they are green sectors that induce technological development and innovation, namely in technologies related to renewable energy, low-carbon transport systems, energy-efficient buildings, waste management and recycling infrastructures, energyefficient lighting systems, smart grids, etc. According to estimates from UNEP (2011), which uses a specific macroeconomic model, an investment scenario in the green economy at 2% of global GDP leads to a long-term economic growth between 2011 and 2050 at least as high as that achieved with maintaining the current scenario (business-as-usual), while reducing the risks of climate change, water scarcity and loss of biodiversity of the ecosystems.

CITIES - LABORATORIES OF THE GREEN ECONOMY Currently, cities comprise 50% of the world population, contributing to 60-80% of energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions (UNEP, 2011). This scenario tends to worsen when it predicts a population growth of 7 billion to 9 billion by 2040, mainly in developing countries (UN, 2012). The major problems that the economy and society face are concentrated in urban areas, but it is there too that opportunities for its resolution emerge. In fact, the environmental crisis that the planet is facing, which is long-term and global, is lived locally and it is at this level that innovative solutions to solve them are emerging (Santos, 2011). Cities are the laboratories of the green economy and in these spaces new models and pilot products and services are developed, tested and experimented, which can gain scale and potential for diffusion onto national and global levels. Hence we have been witnessing the emergence of various strategies associated with ‘sustainable cities’, ‘smart cities’ or ‘green cities’. The investments that are expected in cities in the upcoming decades provide an opportunity for the transformation of key economic sectors, reducing the carbon intensity and improving efficiency in the use of resources. In this context, as well as a sustainable urban planning, the impact of buildings and transport is critical as part of the transition onto a green urban economy.

Will RIO +20 result in a time to take on clear commitments towards increased well-being of humanity or will it be another missed opportunity?

services on which our well-being relies (…) to do this it must capitalize investment and innovation which will underpin sustained growth and give rise to new economic opportunities”.

The buildings sector contributes about a third to the emissions of greenhouse gases, which can be explained by the fact that 40% of the final use of energy takes place in buildings. There is thus great potential for reducing energy consumption, job creation and increased wellbeing of communities, through policies and incentives to build green buildings and for the rehabilitation of energy-inefficient buildings.


Furthermore, current patterns of transport, based mainly on private motor vehicles, contribute to more than 50% of global consumption of fossil fuels and to about a quarter of carbon emissions related to energy, being responsible for more than 80% of air pollution in developing countries. The investment in measures associated with green transport could reduce emissions of the sector by 70% (UNEP, 2011). The importance of cities in the scenario of the green economy leads to a strong need for local governments to participate in international debates, which the ICLEI - “Local Governments for Sustainability” have been actively advocating in global summits. The challenge of the green growth requires multi-level governance with an agreement between the local, regional, national and global levels. SCEPTICISM AND RIO+20 Several criticisms have emerged as to the concepts of ‘green economy’ and ‘green growth’. Some argue that this is a solution to the crises of the current system, requiring adjustments in the market structures and the existing political and institutional mechanisms; others have postulated that the alternative is not sufficient because we are facing a systemic crisis that requires the transition to a new system and the creation of new institutional arrangements. Boaventura Sousa Santos, in a recent article published in ‘Visão’ (Feb. 9th) even refers that “the proposals that are made are - summarized in the concept of green economy scandalously ineffective and even counterproductive: to convince the markets (...) of the opportunities to profit from investing in the environment, calculating environmental costs and assigning market value to nature (...) i.e. there is no other way for us to relate as humans and with nature, than through markets”. Other stakeholders argue that the concepts of ‘green economy’ and ‘green growth’, while advocating the link between the economic, environmental and social dimensions, tend to marginalize the social sphere. According to Cook and Smith (2012), “the achievement of core development goals of poverty reduction, equity and justice requires that ecological, economic and social dimensions are rebalanced” and “many of the mechanisms designed to achieve economic and even ecological goals may themselves reinforce, exacerbate or at least not challenge, existing exclusion and inequalities”.



This position also advocates that there are problems of participation and representation, seeing as the area of intervention of the designated excluded groups is reduced, which often end up only legitimating political choices as they do not have a say in the decision-making process. Moreover, there is a group of people that invokes the need to include an additional dimension to the concept of ‘sustainable development’, the cultural dimension, because culture is civilization, memories, legends, stories, values and practices underpinning the life of the local community. One therefore advocates inclusion in discussions on the need for conservation and preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, which promotes cultural diversity and fight all forms of racial, ethnic, religious, etc. discrimination. Despite the pros and cons, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June, elected the “green economy in the context of sustainable development and the eradication of poverty” and the “institutional framework for sustainable development” as key issues for discussion. Will RIO +20 result in a time to take on clear commitments towards increased well-being of humanity or will it be another missed opportunity?

HAPPINESS BEYOND THE GDP On April 2nd a high-level meeting was held under the theme “Happiness and Well-being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” in the United Nations Headquarters in New York, convened by the Prime-Minister of Bhutan, Torbjörn Laht. The book “World Happiness Report” (Sachs, J.; Helliwell, J.; Layard, R., 2012) was launched at the event. ( earthinstitute/docs/world-happiness-report). During the session, with over 600 participants, the need for a new paradigm focusing on human happiness and well-being, which integrates the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable development, was defended. In response, it was considered that the measurement of progress could not be based solely on conventional economic indicators, such as the GDP; alternative measures are necessary so as to consider physical capital, natural capital, human capital and intangible assets (OECD, 2011). The theme is not new. In 1970, Bhutan had introduced a new measure of prosperity called “Gross National Happiness” which included values such as happiness, culture, equity and environmental protection. Moreover, for over 20 years an extensive work has been developed by international, European and national organizations, focused on creating sustainable development indicators. Worthy of note is the “Human Development Index” of the UNDP, the “Better Life Index” of the OECD, “GDP and Beyond” of the EC or even the more recent initiatives related to the definition of indexes that measure and monitor the transition to a green economy.


The concept of a green economy does not replace sustainable development; but there is a growing recognition that achieving sustainability rests almost entirely on getting the economy right (UNEP, 2011).


However, there is still no consensus on alternatives to the GDP as an indicator to measure progress. It is for this reason that the issue will be re-released for discussion in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO +20) over the 20th-22nd of June in Rio de Janeiro. As stated by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon: “An outcome [from RIO+20] that says that happiness and well-being are measured in more than gross national income - and that they are fundamental goals in themselves”.

Santos, B. S. (2011), Portugal: Ensaio contra a autoflagelação, Almedina. UN (2012), Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing, UN. UNEP (2011), Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, UNEP. OECD (2011), Towards Green Growth, OECD. Cook, S. and Smith, K. (2012), Introduction: Green Economy and Sustainable Development – Bringing Back the Social”, Development, 55(1).


GREEN GROWTH THROUGH GREENER CITIES Ryan Weber & Mitchell Reardon Nordregio - Nordic Centre for Spatial Development (Sweden) Beginning in October 2008, stock markets around the world experienced a decline that initiated a global recession. In Europe, the situation remains challenging. Unilateral wage cuts in excess of 10% have taken place in a number of countries, while rising unemployment, large public deficits and low growth plague various nations. What’s more, at the same time as the economic crisis was unfolding, the much anticipated COP15 in Copenhagen failed to deliver a global climate agreement to enact binding measures to keep climate change at a sustainable level.

Sustainable urban development has made great advancements in recent years. At the building level, technological advancements allow us to build zeroenergy buildings that in a longer-term perspective are economically favoured over more traditional construction. On a wider scale, new models for the urban form are promoting a reduction in material and resource consumption, such as transit oriented development, brownfield regeneration and balanced urban structures. Such efforts have been underlined by eco-friendly urban development projects such as Norra Djurgårdsstaden in Stockholm, Sweden; Vauban in Freiburg, Germany; and Dockside Green in Victoria, Canada. Projects such as these allow for vast reductions in resource consumption while promoting a high quality of life for residents, employees and visitors.

Green Growth has emerged at the junction of these global issues as a central policy discourse that highlights how an emphasis on some of society’s greatest assets our ingenuity and innovation - can drive development that reduces pressure on the environment. But a number of key questions can be positioned in light of it – one of the most important being what does green growth imply for the development of cities? As over half of the world’s population now lives in cities, with estimates that this will grow to 70% by 2050, it is clear that urban areas will be decisive agents in the quest to deliver green growth. As centres of creativity, innovation and connectivity, cities will be key in fostering product and process innovation that will help lead to greater resource efficiency. Yet they will also have an important role as the locations where innovations in green growth can have their most significant impacts. As the greatest consumers of energy, materials and water, and producers of waste, through technological advances and behavioural changes, there is considerable potential to achieve resource savings by making the way we live and move in cities more resource efficient.


© Nordregio

From a European energy perspective, 40% of all energy consumption takes place in buildings. Here, ecofriendly developments illustrate how greener buildings can help to achieve up to a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in this sector. To this end, the INTERREG ReGreen project contributes to the development of green growth in regions by helping them to improve, develop and implement green building policies oriented towards the enhancement of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies, primarily through public procurement.

But perhaps it is most impressive that green growth could be the source of unprecedented job growth through the construction of greener cities. Research suggests that through policies such as the EU’s proposal to enhance building efficiency by doubling the rate of renewal for public buildings, green economic production from the building sector could outpace production in all other sectors. This potential will also allow jobs that already exist in the construction industry to be transitioned into green jobs, whereby workers can obtain necessary skills while maintaining their existing employment.

Cities have an important symbiotic relationship with green growth. They can serve as the creative and innovative drivers in this field and in doing so, experience job growth, increase competitiveness and become more resource efficient. A number of cities have already taken the initiative; however there are considerable opportunities for others to benefit from green growth as well. Economic recovery will not be an easy task, but through green growth, cities have the capacity to foster a greener, economically viable future.

RE-GREEN PROJECT The launch event of the RE-GREEN: “Regional Policies towards Green Buildings” project, supported by the European Programme INTERREG IVC, took place last February, in Lisbon’s Fado Museum. The seminar was focused on the theme “Regional Policies for Greening the Building Sector”, and included a wide range of speakers from different national and international organizations, namely: UNEP - Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative, ICLEI South America, a Swedish research Centre - Nordregio, University of Potsdam, in Germany, the Green Building Council of Spain, ADENE and the Lisbon Region Commission. The aim of the project is to contribute for improving regional development policies oriented to the promotion of green regions within the new paradigm of the green economy, with a special focus on greening the building sector through the enhancement of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies. Through inter-regional cooperation, the countries involved in the project will identify, share and transfer methodologies, processes and best practices in the development and implementation of innovative green building policies, aiming at retrofitting public buildings. The RE-GREEN initiative is led by INTELI (Portugal) in partnership with 9 partners from 9 European countries: University of Potsdam (Germany), Municipality of Da-

Source: UNEP (2011)

browa Gornicza (Poland), Tartu Regional Energy Agency (Estonia), Nordregio – Nordic Centre for Spatial Development (Sweden), Regional Government of Extremadura (Spain), City of Mizil (Romania), Dublin City Council (Ireland), “Building for the Future” (UK) and Local Energy Agency of Spodnje Podravje (Slovenia). For more information:


CITIES IN RIO +20: THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL Florence Karine Laloë* ICLEI tries, participates in the Conventions and United Nations Conferences and defends the position of these governments in the international forums, in the role of co-organizer of the Main Group of Local Authorities, one of nine major groups of actors officially recognized within the United Nations. In this role, one of the most important contributions of ICLEI in 1992 was the coordination for the inclusion of Chapter 28 in Agenda 21, during Rio 92, which gave rise to the Local Agenda 21. In recent years, it became clear that the actions that move the world are local. Several experiences of different cities over the years have demonstrated successful cases of local sustainability. However, the challenges of this new century are enormous, especially in cities.

In recent years, it became clear that the actions that move the world are local.


Between the 13th and 22nd of June 2012, the world will turn to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20. Twenty years after Rio 92, Rio +20’s main objective is to evaluate the progress and gaps in these last two decades, identify and discuss new and emerging challenges of this century, as well as plan and obtain political commitment for future actions. The conference revolves around two themes: the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development. ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, an association that has about 1,200 local governments and associations of local government members in 70 coun-


The urbanization process is so intense and significant that it has become a global challenge. If in the mid 1950s less than a third of the world population lived in cities, the estimates for 2050 are that more than two thirds of the population will live in urban areas. Over the next 40 years, it will be necessary to build the same urban capacity that was built in the last 4000 years. How can one therefore ensure quality of life, social cohesion and equity, and everyone’s access to water, energy and food, with such a picture of growth of the ecological footprint that is exacerbated by climate change? Considering the growing demand and the deterioration of natural resources, cities and urban systems need to be rethought and designed so that they can produce what we consume, such as food and energy. The productivity of cities and urban systems in relation to natural resources is at the centre of a green urban economy. The GDP is largely concentrated in major urban centres (approximately 30% of global GDP is in the 100 largest urban centres). It is estimated that between 2005 and

2025, 200 trillion dollars will be spent on urban infrastructure, mostly in developing countries, although they may involve engineering, technology and companies from developed countries. This urban growth can be used to develop cities that are productive in the use of natural resources, with a resilient low-carbon infrastructure that benefits the poorest, thus ensuring social development. In this sense, the concept of the GDP deserves to be revised to include metrics such as quality of life, happiness, and efficiency in the use of natural resources, among others.

The green urban economy can and should contribute to a greener global economy.

“ Finally, a review of the global institutional framework for sustainable development, which to date has proved to be inadequate, is still essential. Besides the reform within the UN system, such as the strengthening of the United Nations Environment Program – UNEP, or the creation of a World Environment Organization, the form of social participation deserves to be strengthened. One possibility would be to divide the groups of interest (“stakeholder groups”) into governmental actors (“Governmental stakeholders”), companies and unions (“Business and Trade Unions”) and civil society. Regional and local governments would be part of the group of governmental actors, with greater responsibility and involvement in international decision-making.

* Lawyer, Master in Political Science (International Affairs - Development Studies), with a focus on Sustainability and Climate Change by ‘Sciences Po Paris - Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris - IEP / Paris’, Interim Regional Executive Secretary of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability / Secretariat for South America - SAMS

As a preparatory body of local governments for Rio +20, the ICLEI World Congress 2012, which is organized every three years, will take place in the city of Belo Horizonte. It will stage the mobilization and positioning in view of the progress of negotiations and will be a forum for the exchange of local experiences, display of good practice, of the progress achieved and of the foundations for the future of the cities. ( worldcongress2012). Rio +20 presents an opportunity to show the importance of the collaboration of local governments with the nations to define and achieve robust goals in global agreements on sustainable development. The green urban economy can and should contribute to a greener global economy.

For more information about ICLEI and Rio +20, visit



social concern, or to those companies that actually develop innovative and environmentally friendly products. Also, mutual funds - funds that invest in real estate - have been expressing some concern about the environmental and innovative characteristics of the buildings in which they invest. These concerns are visible in the work that the United Nations Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has developed with a set of real estate funds regarding the identification of principles for responsible investment in real estate and the identification of environmental, social and innovative factors that should be part of a modern building2.

The movement of money is intrinsically linked to the movement of raw materials, finished goods, work and, ultimately, the quality of the environment (...) if we are to achieve sustainable development we must be willing to fund it. [Sarokin and Schulkin (1991)]


“ Achieving sustainable development in an economy means developing a set of activities following new criteria, which aim to reach new goals and seek to meet a set of needs of the society, sometimes neglected. Promoting the environmental well-being, social inclusion and innovation, necessarily implies the creation of new projects and ideas that need to be funded to follow onto the actual implementation. Given the objective of the European Strategy for 2020 that aims to turn Europe into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy, one would expect that the dynamics of the economies would adapt to this objective and that the financial system could catalyse these areas by financing specific activities. In fact there are already several international banks that have been investing in innovative areas such as the “carbon economy” - the case of HSBC; others have developed financial products that seek to promote more sustainable consumption through the existence of a lower interest rate in the acquisition of certain assets considered more environmentally friendly; others fund projects that promote social inclusion1. Also, in terms of investment funds, there has been a growing concern in the selection of assets to invest. In fact, the so-called Socially Responsible Funds (SRF) that invest in companies that have certain environmental and social concerns, has been increasing over the past 10 years. According to Eurosif, the European market of SRF increased from 2.7 billion to 5 billion euros in 2009, and it is estimated that the market share of such funds in Europe is around 40%. This trend highlights that the increasing concern of investment funds is gradually channelling more money to companies that have some kind of environmental and


However, we still cannot say that the financial system has already recognized the potential of a sustainable economy, since it is not possible to easily find lines of credit dedicated to the sustainable economy and to economic activities that should characterize it. Analysing the various documents published by the European Commission on the challenges of Europe for 2020 and 2050, it is obvious that the energy component is central to the achievement of sustainable development. In this sense, the sectors of sustainable construction and sustainable transport are of significant importance in achieving an intelligent and sustainable economy. Seeing as the development of sustainable techniques and building materials, as well as sustainable means of transport and mobility, are new aspects that are still in a phase of experimentation and prototyping, and not in a replication stage, the financing needs are greater and less available. EIB AND THE JESSICA FUND In order to promote the development of new technologies and foster the concept of sustainability in terms of cities, the European Investment Bank, for example, along with the European Union, has been developing investment funds for the promotion of a green market economy. These funds are closely linked to the promotion of the concept of intelligent cities (as a city can be seen as an economy on a local scale, which can be scalable to the national economy), namely in the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy in public and private buildings; in fostering efficient urban transportation, coupled with smart grids and infrastructure for shipments of electric cars, among others. These financing funds are intended to promote the research, development and testing required in the early stages of any innovative project, and also intend to transmit to the Board that there is a potential market for this type of project and that it should begin to analyse the potential growth of these sectors, and develop lines of credit and financing for this purpose.

The JESSICA Fund and the ELENA Fund of the European Investment Bank are two examples of specific lines of financing for this purpose. These funds can be seen as concrete examples of how money can move raw materials, finished goods, employment and environmental quality, thus contributing to the sustainable development of cities, and therefore of countries. The European Commission and European Investment Bank, by promoting these funds, are therefore contributing to the development of a future market where it is expected that there will be a demand and supply of funding for sustainable projects.

1 For a detailed description of various green financial products available worldwide, you can consult the publication ‘Green Financial Products and Services: Current Trends and Future Opportunities in North America’, by UNEP FI. 2

For more information on the work of UNEP FI in the area of Green Property, visit:


UNITED KINGDOM Enabling the Transition to a Green Economy: Government and business working together (2011)


DENMARK Agreement on Green Growth (2009)

THE NETHERLANDS Green Growth in the Netherlands (2011) GERMANY Green Economy (report) (2011)

Green economy policies and strategies are emerging all over the world, both in developed and developing countries. Some of them are an initiative of national (and regional, local) governments, and others are being supported by international organizations, such as UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme – “Green Economy Initiative” and the “Global Green Growth Institute”. Note: This mapping exercise is not exhaustive; it just intends to present some initiatives that are being implemented at international level.

BARBADOS Green Economy Scoping Study – Synthesis Report Barbados (2012)

BRAZIL Brazil Green Growth Planning (on-going project)

RWANDA Green Growth and Climate Resilience. National Strategy for Climate Change and Low Carbon Development (2011)

SOUTH AFRICA New Growth Path Green Economy Accord (2011)

ETHIOPIA Climate Resilie Economy (CRG (2011)

MONGOLIA Mongolia Green Growth Planning (on-going project)

NORWAY Towards Greener Development: On a Coherent Environmental and Development Policy (White Paper) (2011)

ent Green GE)

KAZAKHSTAN Kazakhstan National Green Growth Plan (on-going project) LITHUANIA Green Investment Scheme (2010)

CHINA 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2011-2015) (2011)

SOUTH KOREA National Green Growth Development Strategy for 2008-2030 (2008) Framework Act on Low Carbon, Green Growth (2010)

JAPAN New Growth Strategy: Blueprint for Revitalizing Japan (2010)

SINGAPORE The Singapore green Plan 2012 (2006)

INDONESIA Indonesia’s Green Economy Corridor Initiative (2012; on-going project)

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES UAE Green Growth Planning (on-going project)

AUSTRALIA Australia Innovation System Report 2011 (Chapter 6) CAMBODIA The National Green Growth Roadmap (2009)



The policies of the European Union and of several Member States reflect growing support for integrated and sustainable development as an essential part of safeguarding and improving the quality of human life. In this context, public policies are increasingly aiming at intervention at the local level, which reinforces the role of cities as engines of change for the adoption of new models of land management, based on transparency, efficiency and competitiveness. INTELI had a pioneer intervention in 2009 in promoting, in partnership with 25 municipalities of the continent, the first Living Lab network of cities, with the task of speeding up technological innovation processes and solutions relevant to energy and environmental sustainability. In June 2009, Almada, Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Bragança, Cascais, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Guimarães, Leiria, Lisboa, Loures, Portalegre, Porto, Santarém, Setúbal, Sintra, Torres Vedras, Viana do Castelo, Vila Nova de Gaia, Vila Real and Viseu signed an agreement with the Portuguese Government for the operation of the first phase of the Programme of Electric Mobility. These municipalities comprise the RENER - Renewable Energy Living Lab, created by INTELI, which is included the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) and has the support of the European Commission. Although mobility has been the starting-engine of this Living Lab, the truth is that RENER has a greater ambition: to develop this network as a space for testing, experimenting, and validating technologies, behaviours and solutions, at the service of the cities, and contributing to economic attractiveness; the creation of skills; a commitment to sustainability; and placing the cities of Portugal in the European ranking of smart cities.

INDEX OF SMART, SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE CITIES The need for a bottom-up assessment is pertinent in a context in which cities compete against each other to attract and retain people and businesses. Thus, while giving greater emphasis to the environment and regional planning as key mechanisms for sustainable development, it becomes necessary to develop a system to assess local sustainability, allowing for the creation of goals and commitments in the short, medium and long term. The city’s bet must be, among other things, geared by instruments for the promotion of sustainable territories, that value energy and environmental resources in the generation of new labour markets, as well as the continued commitment to value innovation and clean technologies, as activities that generate wealth. On the other hand, it is important for territories to become more competitive through the valuation of planning as a driver for the improvement of urban policies, of physical and virtual connectivity and of social welfare. In this context, it becomes essential to develop a system to quantify the sustainability index, but also a monitoring tool that encourages municipalities to implement and enforce a set of goals that will direct the competitive, intelligent and more compassionate territories. This is the new challenge posed by INTELI to municipalities that comprise the RENER network: to create a work tool that contributes to giving citizens the best cities; territories of culture and solidarity where it is possible to work and enjoy quality of life.


THE UK IN THE TRANSITION TO THE GREEN ECONOMY The UK Government developed a national strategy in 2011, entitled “Enabling the Transition to a Green Economy: Government and Business working together”.

This strategy aims to meet the challenges of an economy that is green, low-carbon and efficient in the use of resources, establishing a set of policy instruments to support the transition to a green economy in the UK. The document represents a collaborative work, with the cooperation of all government departments, but also has the participation of companies and the civil society. The vision of the green economy is based on four key points:

The Green Deal (2010)

GIB - Green Investment Bank (2010)

The Green Deal is a project of the United Kingdom, which aims to support the implementation of energy efficiency measures in buildings, of the public and private sectors, throughout the country.

The UK created the first investment bank in the world to be exclusively dedicated to turning the economy green. This initiative is framed within the Government’s commitment to making the transition to a green economy. The change will require an unprecedented investment in key green sectors. It is estimated that £ 200 billion will be needed for the energy system alone, by 2020.

This initiative translates into an innovative funding mechanism that allows consumers to recover the total cost of implementing energy efficiency measures over several years through the monthly energy bills. However, as the Green Deal is not a personal loan or an advance payment scheme, there is no obligation to continue to pay in case of changing house, thus transferring the payment to the following beneficiary. This system is based on a simple calculation, known as the “golden rule” of the Green Deal, which states that the expected financial gains from the improvements in energy efficiency must be greater than or equal to the cost of installation.


The “Green Investment Bank” of the UK is considered a key component for the transition to a green economy, complementing other policies to support the creation of green infrastructure. The bank’s mission is to offer financial solutions that accelerate and stimulate private sector investment in the green economy, addressing market gaps that affect green infrastructure projects.

• To grow in a sustainable manner in the long-term – the economic growth and wealth of the country will increase, while emissions and other environmental impacts will decrease; • Use natural resources efficiently – effective management of demand and implementation of energy efficiency measures and other resources in housing, offices and businesses; • Be more resilient – an economy that is better prepared for the implications of climate change and environmental risks; • Explore comparative advantages – expand markets in terms of green products and services. To pursue this strategy, the Government is creating a set of policy instruments in various fields, such as: international action; regulation; voluntary agreements; fiscal measures; promotion of innovation; training; procurement; provision of information; support costs of transition to a green economy; collaborative work.

portionate, consistent, clear and implemented in a way that will minimize the burden on businesses. Fiscal measures: the Government intends to increase the proportion of tax revenue accounted for by environmental regulations (environmental taxes, such as: landfill tax, minimum price of carbon, etc.) with the aim of maximizing opportunities for green growth in the UK. Procurement: the government will buy sustainable and efficient products, consistent with its priorities, develop streamlined procurement processes and reduce the impacts of the supply chain. Provision of information: the Government will continue to provide information to businesses in the areas of climate change, resource efficiency and its risks, in order to make information easier and more accessible, as well as advise companies on how to best use it. This strategy is also accompanied by a 10-year schedule of the key policies necessary for the transition to a green economy.

Regulation: the Government is working to ensure that the system of environmental regulation is effective, pro-

National Planning Policy Framework (2012) In March 2012 the National Policy Planning of the UK was published. Considered one of the key instruments of reform, it was created in order to make the system of regional planning less complex and more accessible, to protect the environment and promote sustainable growth, inserted in the strategy of transition to a green economy. This document creates a framework within which the local population, along with local authorities, can produce their own plans - distinctive and rooted in the realities of their specific neighbourhoods, reflecting the needs and priorities of the communities.

National Careers Service (2012) On the 5th of April 2012, the Government launched a new service - the National Careers Service born in the strategy “Enabling the Transition to a Green Economy: Government and Business working together”, which stresses that the transition to a green economy requires professionals with specific skills. This service is intended to transform the system of career counselling, through a combination of highly qualified and experienced advisers with an interactive site, aiming to help people maximize their potential. The service aims to provide independent and impartial information and advice on education and work, as well as access to a wide range of information about careers and the work market.



SUSTAINABILITY MILESTONES [Policies and Institutional Arrangements]

80 1987 Brutland Report – “Our Common Future”, World Commission on Environment and Development, United Nations (1983) BRUTLAND REPORT



1972 United Nations Conference on the Urban Environment, Stockholm, Sweden STOCKHOLM DECLARATION

Creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Setting up of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

1989 Publication of the study “Blueprint for a Green Economy” (D. Pearce; A. Markandya; E. Barbier)

90 1994 1992 RIO92 - United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Earth Summit)

1st European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, EC. Aalborg, Denmark






Creation of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development

1993 Creation of the Directorate-General for the Environment – European Commission Launching of the Fifth European Community Environment Programme: Towards Sustainability Launching of the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign, European Commission

2nd European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, EC. Lisbon, Portugal


1997 RIO+5 General Assembly of the United Nations, New York, EUA The Amsterdam Treaty refers sustainable development, EC COP3 - United Nations Conference on Climate Change, Kyoto, Japan KYOTO PROTOCOL

00 2000


Launching of the Millennium Development Goals 2015 (UN)



3rd European Conference on Sustainable Cities - EC, Hannover, Germany HANNOVER DECLARATION


Enter in force of the Kyoto Protocol

Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment, EC Review of the Sustainable Development Strategy - EU


5th European Conference on Sustainable Cities - EC, Seville, Spain Leipzig Charter on European Sustainable Cities


Launching of the Sustainable Development Strategy – EU – Gothenburg Agenda


Launching of the Sixth Environment Action Programme of the European Commission 2002-2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa JOHANNESBURG PLAN OF IMPLEMENTATION

2004 Aalborg +10 Conference, Aalborg, Denmark


Launching of the “Green Economy Initiative” - UNEP Publication of the “Global Green New Deal”, UNEP


Review of the Sustainable Development Strategy - EU COP15 - United Nations Conference on Climate Change Copenhagen, Denmark

10 2010 6th European Conference on Sustainable Cities – EC Dunkerque, France DUNKERQUE DECLARATION ON LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY 2010

Creation of the “Global Green Growth Institute” – Korea COP16 - United Nations Conference on Climate Change Cancun, Mexico

2012 Launching of the “Green Growth Knowledge Platform” (World Bank, UNEP, OECD, Global Green Growth Institute) Publication of the report “Resilient Planet” – High Level Panel on Global Sustainability (2010 – UN SecretaryGeneral) 5 June 2012 World Environment Day – Green Economy 20-22 June 2012 RIO+20 – United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Launching of the Europe Strategy 2020


Publication of the report “Towards Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication” – UNEP COP17 - United Nations Conference on Climate Change, Durban, South Africa Publication of the report “Towards Green Growth” – OECD (“Ministerial Council Meeting”, 2009)

Note: These milestones are not mapped exhaustively, being just stressed the most relevant for the transition towards the green economy.


INTELI – Intelligence in Innovation, Innovation Centre and FLAD - Luso-American Foundation for Development, in partnership with the “Ecologic Institute” (Germany) are organizing the International Conference “Smart Cities for Sustainable Growth” which will take place on May 3rd at the Lisbon Electricity Museum. The event aims to discuss the ‘smart city’ concept starting with an integrated approach encompassing the innovative, sustainable and inclusive dimensions of an intelligent city. Several case studies will be presented, and solutions related to intelligent cities in Europe, USA and Brazil, with a view to sharing ideas and knowledge between policy makers, researchers, planners and the civil society. Topics such as energy and sustainable mobility, open government and citizenship, financing the green economy, policies and strategies of intelligent cities, among others, will be discussed at the conference. The cases of Amsterdam (Netherlands), Santander (Spain) and New York (USA) will be presented in depth. One of the results of the event will be the production of a contribution to RIO +20 - United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio de Janeiro, June 20th-22nd), which will seek to enhance the role of intelligent cities in the context of the green economy and the eradication of poverty.



Shere Abbott is Vice-President of the Department of Sustainability and Professor of Science and Policy of Sustainability at the Syracuse University (USA). Until 2011 she collaborated with President B. Obama as Director of Environment of the Office of Scientific and Technological Policy. She was Director of International Affairs and of the Centre for Science, Innovation and Sustainable Development of the “American Association for the Advancement of Science” (AAAS). She developed several management, research and teaching activities in the area of sustainability in American universities and think tanks, such as “Brookings Institute”.

William Fulton

William Fulton is Vice-President of Programs and Policies of “Smart Growth America” (USA), an American association of regional and local organizations, active in the promotion of smart growth in the country. He was Mayor of Ventura, and exerted a long career as an urban planner, author, teacher and politician in California. In 2009, Planetizen elected him one of the Top 100 Urban Thinkers.


Resilient Cities 2012 Bonn, Alemanha – 12-15 May The forum aims to create synergies between local governments and experts in climate change adaptation in the discussion of the challenges that urban environments around the world face. The topics discussed are: urban risks; resilient urban design; water, food and biodiversity; resilient urban renewable energy; resilient urban logistics; financing the resilient city. The event will bring together over 500 participants from all continents and about 30 partners.

ICLEI 2012 World Congress Belo Horizonte, Brazil - 14-17 June The congress brings together members of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, to present the actions that were developed and discuss future strategies. The themes of the event are: urban green economy; sustainable cities; resource efficiency in cities; biodiversity in cities; low-carbon cities; resilient cities and communities; urban green infrastructure; healthy and happy communities. The congress is closely related to the Rio +20 conference, seeking to position the role of cities in the context of the green economy and sustainable development.

European Sustainable Energy Week Brussels, Belgium - 18-22 June The European Sustainable Energy Week will include events and activities designed to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. Every year hundreds of individuals and organizations from over 30 countries take part in this initiative. In this regard, all Member States can organize parallel events in their countries or in Brussels, which will incorporate the European Week.

RIO +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 20 - 22 June The Conference marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro) and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development (Johannesburg). The aim of the event is to get a renewed political commitment to sustainable development, assess progress made to date and discuss emerging challenges. The key themes of the conference are: the green economy in the context of sustainable development and of poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development.


SITES & LINKS UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme

Global Green Growth Institute

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Green Growth Knowledge Platform

World Bank – Sustainable Development

Smart Cities and Communities Stakeholder Platform

OECD – Green Growth


BOOKS & PAPERS Development: Greening the Economy

Development Journal, Vol. 55(1), 2012 - Society for International Development (SID) and UNRISD This issue of the journal includes papers presented at the UNRISD Conference “Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social Dimension”, focusing on various topics from the global crisis to development projects, which aim to contribute to the debate around Rio +20.

Working towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy: A United Nations Systemwide Perspective Environment Management Group, United Nations, 2011

This report describes how the challenges of climate change, the growing scarcity of natural resources and the decline of the ecosystems can be addressed by integrated models of development focused on poverty and human welfare.

Green Economy Report: Towards a Green Economy – Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication UNEP, 2011

This report presents the green economy as an engine of development, contributing to job creation and poverty eradication. Moreover, it intends to motivate policy-makers to create favourable conditions for increased investment in the transition to a green economy.

Towards Green Growth OECD, May 2011 This report presents the basis for the definition and implementation of strategies for green growth, in a logic of reconciliation of the goals of economic growth, fight against climate change and prevention of environmental degradation and the inefficient use of resources.


From Green Economies to Green Societies: UNESCO’s Commitment to Sustainable Development UNESCO, 2011

This brochure focuses on the challenge of building more green, fair and inclusive societies. The green economy is an important means to achieve the ultimate goal of sustainable development: the welfare of people with respect for the environment.

Towards a Greener Economy: The Social Dimensions International Labour Organisation, 2011 This report aims to understand the nature of the green economy and its implications for the work market. It seeks to demonstrate the compatibility of the objectives of building a green economy with the creation of decent work opportunities. It is necessary to ensure complementarities between environmental, economic and social policies.


TECHNICAL DATASHEET Edition and Coordination: INTELI Editorial Team: Catarina Selada, Inês Vilhena da Cunha, Maria João Rocha and Diana Reis. Collaboration: Curt Garrigan - UNEP, Ryan Weber and Mitchell Reardon - Nordregio, Florence Karine Laloë - ICLEI and Sofia Santos - INTELI Graphic design and cover photo: Mónica Sousa - INTELI

INTELI is a think-and-do-thank that operates in the area of integrated development of territories at an economic, social, cultural and environmental level, by supporting public policies and the strategies of local agents. It operates in the areas of culture and creativity, energy and mobility and social innovation, seeking to contribute towards the affirmation of more creative, sustainable and inclusive cities and regions.

INTELI – Inteligência em Inovação, Centro de Inovação Av. Conselheiro Fernando de Sousa, 11, 4º 1070-072 Lisboa – Portugal Tel: (351) 21 711 22 10 Fax: (351) 21 711 22 20 Website: E-mail:


Green economy - a new paradigm?


Green economy - a new paradigm?