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Dr Ronal Gainza -Programme Officer at Economic and Fiscal Policy Unit, UN Environment, where he coordinates green economy/green growth projects in countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean for the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE). Here Ronal discusses some highlights of his Working Paper “Investing in the green economy: is it a way to achieve Sustainable Development Goals? An analysis of the experience of the eight African countries”.
Affordable and reliable access to infrastructure is critical for development, with major implications for health, education, social mobility, firm productivity, climate change, energy, forests and biodiversity. But access alone is not enough. What we really need is sustainable infrastructure. Sustainable infrastructure will provide the services and foundation for growth that are needed to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity – but to get there, we must substantially increase financing for infrastructure in the developing world.
The Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) facility brings sustainable development knowledge from UN roundtables to the desk of infrastructure investors.

Developing countries often face direct links between environmental performance, social equality and poverty. Moreover, environmental risks such as unsustainable natural resource management, air pollution or lack of access to safe drinking water can be worsened by other development challenges including inequality, poverty, rapid population growth and lack of basic infrastructure. Climate change in particular will hit the poor the hardest due to their higher vulnerabilities and economic dependence on natural resources. Rapid, inclusive, and climate-informed development is critical for poverty reduction (World Bank, 2015).

Green growth has emerged as an important means by which developing countries may achieve sustainable development. By integrating environmental and social considerations into economic decision-making and development planning, green growth can help promote both sustainable growth and social stability while conserving resources for future generations. However, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for implementing green growth into development planning, and policy needs to respond to national priorities and circumstances.

Relevance to the SDGs

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) encompass various aspects of development, including economic growth, resilience and inclusiveness. The SDGs call for rapid economic development in the least developed countries (target 8.1) as well as in the bottom 40 percent of the population (target 10.1).

Explore green growth resources related to SDGs:

SDG 8.1
Least Developed Countries
   SDG 10.1
      Bottom of pyramids      



Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Best Practices

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
African Development Bank (AfDB), Climate Investment Funds (CIF)
European Union Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF), International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI), Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA)

Learning Products

United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS)


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)