In preparation for the June 2012 Conference on Sustainable Cities, the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations brought together stakeholders from the public and private sectors to share experiences and explore approaches to enhance action by cities toward the green economy, within the context of sustainable urban development and green infrastructure investment. The Committee published a white paper summarizing the perspective of each panelist, “Toward a Green Economy: promoting sustainable urban development and green infrastructure investment”.
The international panelists included Dr. Joan Clos, executive director of UN-HABITAT; Patxi Lazcoz, mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (winner of the European Green Capital Award); Suzanne Salz, executive and policy assistant to the Secretary General, ICLEI World Secretariat; Ronan Dantec, deputy mayor of Nantes, France (winner of the European Green Capital Award); and Matt Delnick, CEO of Greenstar Recycling in San Antonio.
In concluding remarks, moderator Tom Stewart of Booz and Co. highlighted the two critical requirements for success: 1. All green economy initiatives must be designed with the aim of achieving “wins” for everyone, including private-sector investors and the urban poor; and 2. the key challenge is to decouple the rate of economic growth from the rate of increase of greenhouse gases emissions.