Over the last five years, Colombia has seen a huge shift toward working remotely, particularly in cities like the capital, Bogota, and Medellin.
The new work-at-home culture has been actively supported by both the government and private companies, with the number of telecommuters doubling to 100,000 since 2012.
Telecommuting has been formally supported by various European governments, and its benefits— since as increased productivity and a reduction in carbon emissions thanks to fewer or shorter commutes— have long been recognized by multinationals like Cisco, Dell, Xerox and Aetna.
Now Peru is following suit. In November last year, the country signed a national pact with regional governments, companies, civil society and business associations to create a favourable environment for teleworking in both public and private entities.
The government also passed a law on teleworking, not only to reap the environmental benefits, but also as a means to promote the inclusion of vulnerable groups, particularly those with less mobility, such as people with disabilities and single parents.
In a country with a fast-growing economy, in which 40 per cent of energy-related emissions come from transport, this lifestyle shift, together with anticipated green transport laws and measures (including tax reforms on fuel consumption), should go a long way toward meeting Peru’s emission reduction goals.
Peru’s efforts to integrate environmental sustainability into economic development strategies are also important to achieve its goal of accession to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Throughout this process, Peru has been supported by the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) – a coalition of five UN agencies set up to coordinate action on the green economy, which Peru joined in 2013.
PAGE has worked with the Peruvian government on national and sectoral green growth, in line with “Peru 2021”, the country’s National Strategic Plan for Development.
In May 2016, PAGE joined hands with National Center for Strategic Planning and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to commission a study that resulted in 12 policy recommendations on green growth, many of which are now being implemented.
After elections in 2016, the incoming government stated its political commitment to the objectives of green growth, cementing its place on the country’s development agenda.
Much of PAGE’s work is policy-related. Through multi-stakeholder dialogues, workshops, studies and policy recommendations, the organisation helps bring together relevant organisations and inform the public of the real benefits of green growth – as well as ensuring that people have a chance to learn about and have input into decisions that will affect their lives.
Peru will be among the countries represented this week in Berlin at the second PAGE Ministerial Conference. Over 300 leaders from governments, civil society, private sector, development partners, media and the public are coming together to explore how our economies and financial markets can be “enablers” for the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
Media enquiries, please contact the UN Environment Newsdesk: unepnewsdesk [at] unep.org