The UN Commission for Sustainable Development’s (UNCSD) first Intersessional Meeting which took place from 10 to 11 January at UN headquarters in New York, aimed to further clarify the relationship between the green economy, sustainable development, and poverty eradication
The Intersessional is the first in a series of three similar meetings scheduled in the lead-up to Rio+20, which will take place from 14-16 May 2012. It follows-up on progress made at the first Prepatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting in May 2010 and laid the foundation for establishing goals for the international community at PrepCom II, scheduled for 7-8 March 2011.
Parties quickly delved into issues and concerns related to the green economy, with some questions as rudimentary as establishing a definition of what the green economy actually is. Most countries reportedly agreed that it was unnecessary to create a definition of the concept before enabling themselves to move towards it.
One of the greatest concerns was rooted in the fear that the green economy could spawn “green protectionism” around the world and inhibit international trade and aid. Particularly, that it would be a means of imposing tariffs, non-tariff barriers and conditionalities.
The issue was of particular concern to smaller developing countries, which say their exporters may find themselves unable to comply with new green economy standards. The countries pushed for further discussion on how the green economy could be implemented without compromising energy and food security and economic growth.