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Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the second Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen. I am very pleased that so many prominent representatives from governments, businesses and organizations have accepted our invitation. As we all know, there is a need to act.
The world is moving too slowly towards a green economy. In recent years all nations have come together on several occasions to provide common answers to a common challenge: To ensure inclusive economic growth while promoting a sustainable use of resources.
On those occasions we have agreed on the headlines, but we have failed to agree on specific goals and the way ahead. The Rio+20 conference is a case in point: we agreed on the notion of green economy, but failed to agree on the targets that would lead us there.
We need to deal with problems such as water scarcity, climate change and pollution. One fifth of the world’s population is faced with scarcity of water.
This year we had the warmest summer on record in the Northern Hemisphere. And the Arctic sea ice has shrunk to a record low. In some of the biggest cities in the world, pollution prevents you from seeing the blue sky. We cannot ignore these facts.
I want to make three observations on the way forward towards a green economy.
Firstly, we need an action-oriented approach. At a time where the green agenda seems to have lost momentum, we want to get the process back on track and turn good intentions into action. The top down approach has failed to define sufficient regulation and specific targets that will push the greening of our economies forward. The Danish government will continue to push for multilateral solutions, but at the same time we want to act bottom up.
That is why we are gathered once again in Copenhagen for the Global Green Growth Forum. Because we believe it is time for action. 3GF offers a unique platform for governments, businesses and organizations to form coalitions that will drive the green transition forward.
A Danish humorist Storm P – he is world-famous in Denmark – once said: “Everybody is talking about the weather; nobody is doing anything about it.” The Global Green Growth Forum is doing something about it.
My second observation is that we need to bring the private and public sector together. I am very pleased to see so many private sector representatives at the Forum. CEOs from all over the world are present today and that is a token that you share our hope and vision for a greener and more sustainable future.
And it demonstrates the economic potential of public-private partnerships. The private sector is absolutely critical for turning words into deeds. To ensure sustainable economic growth.
My final observation is that we need to forge alliances on green growth that bridge the divide between the developed and developing world. The 3GF partner countries underline my point.
The governments of Denmark, Mexico and Korea launched the 3GF last year. Today, I am proud to welcome three new partners: China, Qatar and Kenya. At a quick glance, we might not seem to have a lot in common: we cover the whole spectrum of development. We are situated on four different continents. And our energy mix varies substantially. But we share a common ambition: to ensure sustainable economic growth.
I look forward to the debates today and tomorrow. And the dialogue will continue, including in the framework of new partnerships that will be launched in the coming days.
I already look forward to welcoming you back next year in order to follow up on the work and discussions initiated at the Green Growth Forum.