PAGE Ministerial Conference 2017: How can we transition to a sustainable world economy?

Over 350 ministers, heads of UN Agencies, business and thought leaders, representatives from civil society and development partners will gather at the PAGE Ministerial Conference 2017 (Berlin, March 27-28) to discuss what it takes to further a “just transition” to economies which are more inclusive, stable and sustainable.

Geneva, 30 January 2017 - Climate change, increasing inequality and a struggling global economy are three of the biggest challenges facing humanity today.

Our present economic system needs a refit to be compatible with life on this planet. Sustainable and stable economic growth is challenging in a world of rising inequality and an increasingly volatile climate. In this context, the decisions we make now on investments, infrastructure, measuring economic performances as well as choices about our lifestyles will determine how sustainable, secure and peaceful our lives will be in the future. Our economies must become fit for purpose – they must become green, inclusive and resilient. This requires aligning financial flows with climate stability, enabling consumers to choose healthy, low-carbon, sustainable lifestyles, and empowering the poor through jobs, access to education, health, skills. 

Looking back at the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the achievements of 2015 are giving way to a growing understanding, among decision makers from public and private sector, that making a transition to an inclusive green economy is necessary.

How can we redesign the global economy to bring it in line with the ecological thresholds? How can economic and financial policies and practices play a far greater role in addressing climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?

On March 27-28, over 350 ministers, heads of UN Agencies, business and thought leaders, representatives from civil society and development partners will convene in Berlin at the PAGE Ministerial Conference 2017 to discuss what it takes to further a “just transition” to economies which are more inclusive, stable and sustainable.

Titled “Inclusive and Sustainable Economies powering the Sustainable Development Goals”, the conference will gather first movers to explore how our economies and financial markets can be ‘enablers’ for the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

Ministers from several countries have already confirmed their presence, including from Germany, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Sweden, Finland, Peru and Nigeria. The Head of the UN Environment Programme, Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of UNITAR, Nikhil Seth, and other Heads of UN agencies are due to attend, as well as Andrew Norton, Director of International Institute for Environment and Development; Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute, and Cletus Springer, Director of the Department of Sustainable Development, Executive Secretariat for Integral Development, Organization of American States

Co-hosted with the Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) of Germany, the PAGE Ministerial Conference will also aim to widening existing partnerships and initiatives that are uncovering pathways to greener and more inclusive economies capable of powering the Sustainable Development Goals. 

During the first day, the two main panel sessions “Inclusive Growth and Full Employment: Creating Opportunity in a Disruptive Environment” and “Catalyzing Green Investment and Sustainable Finance: Emerging insights from around the world” will feature Jeffrey Sachs, Director of Earth Institute, Columbia University and SDG Advocate; Jürgen Heraeus, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Heraeus Holding; Pavan Sukhdev, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, and Bernt Reitan Jenssen, Chief Executive Officer of Ruter, Norway.

Other confirmed speakers from the private sector include Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of India; Ursula Mathar, Head of Sustainability and Environmental protection, BMW, and Achim Steiner, Director of Oxford Martin School.

The much-anticipated final session will feature an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding sustainability efforts. Winners of the SEED Award for entrepreneurship in sustainable development; the Equator Prize for community initiatives in the face of climate change; and the Cannes Young Lions, which in 2016 recognized young advertising professionals for their work related to the SDGs, will be at the centre of the celebrations.

Please click here to see the complete list of confirmed speakers and here for the provisional agenda.