Delhi Ministerial Dialogue on Green Economy and Inclusive Growth

Press Statement
Lawrence J. Gumbiner
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
Washington, DC
October 3, 2011

Statement by Lawrence J. Gumbiner, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, International Environment, and Scientific Affairs

Thank you Madame Chair. The United States is pleased to participate in this Ministerial Dialogue on the Green Economy and Inclusive Growth.

We appreciate the leadership of the Government of India and UNDESA in organizing these discussions and the warm hospitality here in Delhi.

The Green Economy is an opportunity agenda. It offers a promise to all countries that we can generate economic growth, create jobs and make genuine inroads into reducing poverty while safeguarding our ecosystems and resource base. A pathway towards a Green Economy will not, and cannot, be forced on any country, government or organization. It must arise and develop from national conditions, with political leadership, and from the realization of governments, the private sector and civil society, working together, that green economic growth is not only preferable from the standpoint of improving public welfare, but that is makes economic sense. Working towards green economic growth should not be undertaken with a sense of sacrifice, or as a concession that is traded in the international arena, but with a conviction that it represents the best path for economic growth and social welfare, with opportunity for the future.

So how do we develop a green economy, one that can lead to poverty reduction and serve as a vehicle to achieve sustainable development. A green economy and inclusive growth require policy and regulatory environments that encourage private sector investment and support science, technology and innovation. Adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights and ensuring that regulations and standards are consistent, transparent, and science-based can foster innovation and long-term investment. With the proper enabling environment, the private sector, working in collaboration with the science and technology communities, civil society and local governments, can develop a range of new technologies and make them accessible to communities at all levels of development.

Sustainable Agriculture is another key to greener economies. Access to adequate, safe, and nutritious food is a necessary precondition to economic and social development. Improved agricultural productivity is indispensible to meeting increasing demands from a shrinking agricultural land base. At the same time, in order to reduce the costs of environmental impacts we need to also improve the productivity of our inputs. Innovation and investments in science play a critical role, as the development of new technologies and their dissemination through education extension and improved infrastructure will be necessary to meet the food security needs of future generations.

Energy is a fundamental building block of development. Access to adequate supplies of sustainable sources of energy is essential to the development of a green economy. New supplies of energy must be generated and delivered in a manner that is both commercially viable and environmentally sustainable. Investment in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, as well as the removal of energy subsidies for fossil fuel sources, are important measures that contribute to access to affordable and secure clean energy systems. Such systems are fundamental contributors to the broader sustainable development agenda.

We have been pleased to see a growing consensus that the green economy is understood not as a substitute for, but as a means to achieve, sustainable development. Broad-based economic growth and sustainable development can and should be mutually reinforcing.

All countries and stakeholders have important experiences to lend to Rio +20, and we are pleased that India and so many others are stepping forward with substantive contributions and events. As the U.S. contribution to preparations for Rio+20, we will host a conference on how connection technologies can enable sustainable development. This will be held at Stanford University on February 2-4, with more details to follow.

Once again we extend our congratulations and thanks to the Government of India and UNDESA for coordinating this important event. Over the next two days, the United States looks forward to engaging in a productive dialogue that can move us closer to our common goals of achieving sustainable development.