From Transition to Transformation

Published on 21 Mar 2012

Document Summary

This report was launched at the first Global Human Development Forum which brought together high-level experts from governments, corporations, civil society and international organizations to examine the global policy changes required to ensure a sustainable future for people today and for generations to come.  The report, supported by 13 U.N. agencies, calls for a transformation to integrated policy making, where social equity, economic growth and environmental protection are approached together.   It is a contribution of governments, experts, researchers and development practitioners ahead of the ‘Rio+20’ U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in June in Brazil where participants will come together to discuss and shape new policies and measures to promote prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.

It calls for:

  • Removing fossil fuel subsidies to send the right signal to both businesses and households. The right pricing of energy will encourage the development of energy-efficient technologies, make renewable energy more attractive and change consumption behaviour.
  • Establishing a social protection floor, in part to ensure the poorest are not hurt by the removal of fossil fuel subsidies. Active labour policies are needed to retrain people whose jobs are displaced by the green transition and provide universal access to health services. The social protection floor can be financed from the discontinuation of harmful subsidies.
  • Investing in green and decent job creation for women and men in the sectors where there is greatest opportunity in the region: renewables, recycling, energy efficient housing, and sustainable transport.
  • Governments should consider sustainability in all major decisions at national and local levels and demonstrate leadership during the sustainable transformation by greening public sector procurement, analysing the health impact of energy and environmental policies, and enabling the private sector to invest in sustainable development.
  • Raising awareness among producers, consumers, political parties, and scientific and cultural communities. Young people must be engaged because their quality of life is at stake. Women are critical contributors to this effort not least because they control household consumption. Civil society should exercise their rights to information as protected by the Aarhus Convention and create constituencies calling on governments to put in place sustainable development policies and resist industrial lobbies in resource-intensive sectors.
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