The two great challenges of the 21st century are the battle against world poverty and the management
of climate change. On both we must act strongly now and continue that action over the coming decades.
Our response to climate change and poverty reduction will define our generation. If we fail on one of
them, we will fail on the other.
The response to these challenges requires urgent and decisive action: we must invest in new
technologies; manage ourselves - particularly on energy -more efficiently; protect our forests and
provide safe water. But a well constructed response will launch a new energy and industrial
revolution which will last several decades, be full of dynamism and innovation, and provide a much
more attractive way of living.
Developing countries must chart their own course. As they set their own priorities for development, they are
increasingly recognizing that putting climate change at the heart of their growth agenda is not only crucial
for the future of the planet, but full of opportunities and advantages.
Korea, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, are some of the countries that have, over the last couple of years,
developed and started implementing their low-carbon growth plans. They recognized that the low-carbon future
is the only possible one, as the high-carbon future is destined to choke itself either on high fossil fuel
prices, or much more fundamentally, on the hostile environment which would follow from uncontrolled
And it brings huge benefits beyond climate change. Renewable energy sources can free countries from a
dependence on imported fossil fuels. Cleaner transport and cooling mean less pollution and better
health. Halting deforestation protects water supplies, controls flooding and provides bio-diversity. A
low-carbon agriculture will be both more productive in terms of labour, energy and water, and more climate
The transition to a low-carbon future can bring major economic gains. Energy efficiency can help boost
incomes. Low-carbon technologies can open up new sources of growth and jobs. They can help even the poorest
countries leap-frog old approaches – they can avoid some of the cost of large power grids in the way
cell phones helped cut the need for telephone wires. And smarter grids can both enhance energy
efficiency and enable new technologies whilst cutting transmission costs. New sources of low-carbon
energy – hydro, solar, wind – could help create a comparative advantage for some of the poorest
The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), which was officially launched on June 16 2010 in Seoul,
Republic of Korea, is timely and well placed to support developing countries in reaching their development
and growth aspirations through low-carbon, climate resilient green growth plans.
Thanks to its independence and the direct involvement of developing countries institutions, it will be in a
position to be a trusted advisor to countries as they plan their own future. Thanks to its global nature, it
will be able to exchange and promulgate experiences on green growth from across the world. Thanks to its
network of governments, civil societies and private sector, it will be in a position to offer support across
formulation, implementation and execution of the plans.
This is the moment to work together to demonstrate that low-carbon growth is not only possible, but that it
can be a productive, efficient and attractive route to overcome world poverty. It is indeed the only
sustainable route. Strong action now can both take us to a much more attractive pattern of development than
we now see, and save the people of the world from the destruction that will derive from the high-carbon path
we have followed until today.
The Global Green Growth Institute earnestly supports the UNFCCC in achieving the global consensus to
move forward. GGGI also supports individual countries being mindful of their development priority and
paradigm shift to green growth. Now is the time for leadership and good example. This is the purpose of