Knowledge Update
Issue 2013-9                                                                                                            September 5, 2013
Necessity and feasibility of green growth for Africa explored in African Development Report

The African Development Bank's African Development Report 2012 explores the need for green growth in Africa's development process. The report, "Towards Green Growth in Africa", addresses a number of challenges facing the continent in the 21st century, including climate change, population growth, and the combined influence of these factors on energy transformation and agricultural markets. The report encourages a broader integration of sectors in the development process, the need for high-level political commitment in charting long-term development goals and the need for the AfDB and other multilateral and bilateral organizations to facilitate the transition to green growth in Africa.

About GGKP
The Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) is a global network of researchers and development experts that identifies and addresses major knowledge gaps in green growth theory and practice. Through widespread consultation and world-class research, GGKP provides practitioners and policymakers with better tools to foster economic growth and implement sustainable development.

Upcoming Events
16-19 September 2013
Foz do Iguazu, Brazil
1-4 October 2013
Manila, Philippines



Regional Exchange and Practitioners Workshop: Towards an Inclusive Green Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean
Uruguayan government, BMU, UNEP, GIZ, ECLAC, IDB, ILO
17-18 October 2013
Montevideo, Uruguay
21-22 October 2013
Copenhagen, Denmark 
21 October - 13 December
Web-based course

5-6 December 2013
Paris, France

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Latest Research
Future flood losses in major coastal cities

A new study carried out by the World Bank and OECD identifies cities around the world most at risk from future damaging floods. The study, which appears in "Nature Climate Change", finds the costs of global flood damage could rise to $1 trillion a year if cities do not take steps to adapt. The authors find that because current flood defenses and urbanization patterns have been designed for past environmental conditions, even a moderate change in sea level is sufficient to make them inadequate, thus magnifying flood losses to catastrophic levels. The authors encourage early action and warn that some of the cities where flood risk will increase the most in the coming years are not the cities where the risk is particularly high today.


Green economy opportunities in Serbia
With the right green investments, Serbia could generate new jobs and significant savings by adopting a green economy approach compared to business-as-usual, according to a new report by UNEP, UNDP and the Government of Serbia. "Green Economy Scoping Study: Serbia" provides an overview of the country's economic sectors, focusing on energy and agriculture. It presents a macroeconomic profile of the country, a sector-specific review, economic modelling and potential policy-enabling conditions in the transition to a green economy.
Resource discoveries, learning, and national income accounting

Researchers at the World Bank have published a new paper on "Resource discoveries, learning, and national income accounting." The paper develops a model of optimal resource extraction and discovery that combines two polar assumptions: (i) that discovering a resource today drives up the cost of future resource discoveries, and (ii) that extracting resources yields knowledge that reduces the cost of discovery. Although the model shows that resources discoveries should be valued at marginal discovery cost in measures of national savings and income, the ultimate size of the resource that can be exploited is the result of the interplay between rising discovery costs and accumulating knowledge.


Measuring green growth in cross-border regions, the case of the Benelux

This paper by the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme presents the results of a study measuring green growth in the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). The study pays particular attention to the challenges of measuring the transition to a low-carbon economy in cross-border areas as they have additional levels of complexity when it comes to measuring and monitoring their low-carbon transition.


Climate change policies, a review of carbon taxes vs. cap and trade

A new paper by researchers at Stanford University examines the relative advantages of a carbon tax, a "pure" cap-and-trade system, and a "hybrid option". The paper, "Carbon Taxes vs. Cap-and-Trade: A Critical review", shows that the various options are equivalent along more dimensions than often recognized. In addition, the authors highlight important dimensions along which the approaches have very different impacts. One key finding is that exogenous emissions pricing has a number of advantages over pure cap and trade. Beyond helping prevent price volatility and reducing expected policy errors in the face of uncertainties, exogenous pricing helps avoid problematic interactions with other climate policies and helps avoid large wealth transfers to oil exporting countries.

Tools and Initiatives
Launch of new tool for climate compatible development

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) have developed a Knowledge Navigator widget, an online application to allow users to find and access information on over 100 climate change focused knowledge platforms. Through a categorized dataset, the tool provides knowledge brokers, intermediaries and other practitioners with a clearer picture of who is working in the climate change sector, to enable them to link up more effectively.


Registration open for e-learning course: Introduction to a Green Economy

UNITAR in partnership with UNEP, ILO and UNIDO is delivering an e-learning course "Introduction to a Green Economy: Concepts and Applications" from 21 October - 13 December 2013. Participants will learn about different concepts and facets of the green economy, including its contribution to addressing climate change. Special attention is given to global, national and sector-specific challenges and opportunities to advance sustainable, low-carbon and socially inclusive development. Comprehensive information and registration details are available Registration is open until 13 October 2013. 

Payments for environmental services as a tool for conservation in Latin America
Last month, the Organization of American States and the Dirección Ejecutiva Nacional de Honduras del Plan Trifinio held the Fourth Edition of their international course "Design and Implementation of Payments for Environmental Service Schemes". The course was held in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, from July 22 to 26, 2013 and was attended by 45 participants from government and civil society. In its four editions of this course, the OAS has trained nearly 200 government officials and civil society representatives in the region on PES schemes and continues to promote regional exchange of information, experience and lessons learned on the subject.
Photo coverage of GGKP Regional Practitioners' Workshop
Photo coverage of the GGKP's first regional practitioners' workshop, held in Bogor, Indonesia is now available online. The workshop provided technical experts from developing country governments in Asia with the opportunity to learn about various green growth policy tools and share experiences on green growth planning and implementation. All materials and presentations from the workshop can be accessed at: