Extended commitment from private sector key to achieving green growth: GGGI head

SEOUL-- Financial commitments from large businesses are vital to advancing the goal of helping less developed countries incorporate "green growth" into their policies for sustainable economic development, the head of an international organization said Tuesday.

"While there are billions coming from those (intergovernmental) organizations, we need trillions to finance this green transition, and they need to come from the private sector," Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), told a media conference in Seoul.

Green growth calls for seeking economic growth through environment-friendly technologies and industries. Under that initiative, South Korea set up the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul to help develop strategies to promote the environment-friendly cause.

The GGGI is set to host an annual conference, the Global Green Growth Week, in southern Seoul, on promoting green growth and sustainability, starting Oct. 21 for a five-day run.

While many countries have adopted environment-friendly policies, a widely held belief that such a path will put a drag on economic growth has provided a dilemma for many other countries about embracing the initiative, Rijsberman said.

"Many countries are convinced that we're facing a climate crisis. We see a growing political will to address this with governments, although not with all of them and not fast enough," he said. "That social transition, (of) supporting who lose jobs is what's holding back quite a few countries, the fear that there won't be enough jobs in the green economy," he said.

That's why more corporate contribution is essential to moving the "green transition" forward, Rijsberman stressed, noting it will not only help the countries with funding but will also serve as a business opportunity for companies.

"In many countries, businesses are discovering that there are real investment opportunities and green growth transition is also good for business," he said.

The GGGI will continue to play the role of supporting its member nations to create the right policy framework, as well as to demonstrate that the projects are feasible and funding can flow into these transitions, he added.

The GGGI, launched in 2012, is a treaty-based organization with 33 member countries that focuses on supporting and promoting ways for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing and emerging countries.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is the current chairman of the GGGI Council.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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