24 Sep 2019 Press release Green economy

UNEP and German Ministry for Environment launch GO for SDGs to accelerate and scale the green economy transition

New York, 24 September 2019 – At the start of the SDG Summit in New York today, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the German Ministry for the Environment launched the Global Opportunities for SDGs (GO for SDGs) initiative, aiming to accelerate green economy solutions globally.

Go for SDGs will foster exchange on innovative and successful practices through newly designed regional sustainability hubs and sustainable business fora.

The initiative targets three change-agent groups: policy makers, businesses and youth. It aims to raise ambition for building inclusive and sustainable economies and societies by showcasing exemplary approaches from countries and strengthening capacity for replication across regions.

“To achieve the SDGs we need to completely transform our economic model, and transition all countries to an inclusive green economy,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme. “And in doing so we must tap into the innovations policies and practices, that can be accelerated and scaled up to transform our world.”

Go for SDGs will share success stories and disseminate tools and instruments with a positive track record to support a total turn-around of our lifestyles, production patterns, and approaches towards policymaking for an inclusive green economy.

“The shift towards decarbonized economies that create prosperity while protecting the planet offers manifold opportunities – to people, to businesses and to society,” said Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Svenja Schulze. “GO for SDGs will work as a lever to accelerate this shift across regions and unlock these opportunities.”

To ensure that an accelerated green transition is both just and inclusive, GO for SDGs will collaborate closely with international labour unions towards the creation of better paid jobs and safe and healthy work environments, ensuring that no one is left behind.

"Providing this opportunity to share experiences is key to engaging and empowering workers and their communities,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). “Spotlighting practices with positive outcomes encourages governments and businesses to embrace transition strategies that offer opportunities for training and reskilling as well as other critical social protections.”

Go for SDGs builds on existing partnerships and programs such as the One Planet Network, the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP), ITUC’s Just Transition Center and the World Economic Forum’s UpLink Initiative, among others. Working with and through these partnerships GO for SDGs will dramatically accelerate the pace of change that is possible in one country at a time.



About the UN Environment Programme
The UN Environment Programme is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

For more information contact:
Keishamaza Rukikaire, UN Environment Programme, Head of News and Media