The Reform Plan of the Environment for Europe process (ECE/CEP/S/152, annex I, and Corr.1) adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Committee on Environmental Policy in 2009, and subsequently endorsed by ECE, mandated the Committee to act as the convening body for the preparatory processes for the Environment for Europe ministerial conferences.
At its twenty-first session (Geneva, 27–30 October 2015), the Committee invited its Bureau to continue with the preparations for the Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference (Batumi, Georgia, 8–10 June 2016). Regarding the green economy theme, the Committee generally agreed the strategic part of the draft Pan-European Strategic Framework for Greening the Economy and invited its members and observers to submit additional comments by 15 November 2015 (see ECE/CEP/2015/2, forthcoming).
The present document was prepared by the Bureau, with support from the secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme. The Committee will be invited to consider the revised draft with a view to finalize it for prospective adoption by Ministers in Batumi.
1. In response to the commitment made by Ministers of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) region in Astana in 2011 to take the lead in the transition to a green economy, the ECE Committee on Environmental Policy mandated ECE, jointly with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other relevant international organizations and stakeholders working on green economy, to develop a proposal for a pan-European strategic framework for greening the economy, for consideration by the Committee at its twenty-first session in October 2015 (ECE/CEP/2014/2, paras. 73 and 98 (ee) (v)).
2. In that regard, the Committee asked that the strategic framework should include practical examples, good practices and tools to be used for accelerating the transition to a green economy, while promoting a bottom-up approach, as well as that it should build upon existing knowledge products and platforms. The Committee also asked that the framework include in annex a proposal for a green economy action similar to the Astana Water Action.
3. Following up on that mandate, a first draft of the strategic framework was prepared by the ECE secretariat and UNEP in cooperation with the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation and the European Environment Agency, as a result of a series of brainstorming meetings hosted by ECE and UNEP and by electronic means.
4. At its twenty-first session in October 2015, the Committee generally agreed the strategic part of the draft Pan-European Strategic Framework for Greening the Economy (see document ECE/CEP/2015/L.4) and invited its members and observers to submit additional comments by 15 November 2015. The Committee also invited its members and observers to submit to the secretariat comments to the proposed voluntary actions to green the economy, which were annexed to the draft Strategic Framework, by the same deadline. Further, it welcomed the proposal by Switzerland to advance the development of the proposed voluntary actions and entrusted Switzerland to form and convene a group of experts in green economy to prepare a revised draft of voluntary actions to green the economy for the Committee’s special session in February 2016 (see ECE/CEP/2015/2, forthcoming).
5. Following up on the above mandates, the current document presents the draft Pan-European Strategic Framework for Greening the Economy. The document was revised taking into account comments received and aligning it to the outcomes of the work of the group of experts in green economy, which are presented in a separate document including a draft list of possible green economy actions, for reference only (see Information paper No.6). The annex to the current document includes the proposed green economy initiative to support the implementation of the Strategic Framework.
6. The Committee will be invited to consider the revised draft of the Strategic Framework with a view to finalize it for prospective adoption by Ministers at the Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference (Batumi, Georgia, 8–10 June 2016).
7. Regarding the proposed green economy initiative, the Committee will be invited to consider it with a view to approving it and inviting interested countries and organizations to join it and launch it at the Batumi Conference.