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November 2017 Batumi Talk Show: Scoring SDGs through action on green economy and clean air

Green approaches to development can help to ensure economic progress, social equity and the sustainable use of ecosystems and natural resources, so as to meet the needs of present and future generations.

One and a half years after committing to green the economy and improving air quality across the region at the 8th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Batumi, Georgia, countries shared their progress and insights into challenges experienced so far. They also considered the relevance of their commitments for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on Goals to be reviewed globally in 2018 (6, 7, 11, 12, 15 and 17).

Guests of the Batumi Talk Show during the 23rd session of the Committee on Environmental Policy were interviewed by the talk show hosts, Marco Keiner, Director of the UNECE Environment Division and Jan Dusik, Director of the UN Environment Regional Office Europe. The guests highlighted action taken to achieve voluntary commitments under the Batumi Initiative on Green Economy (BIG-E) and the Batumi Action for Cleaner Air (BACA).

During the talk show, entitled “Scoring SDGs through action on green economy and clean air”, the representative of Ukraine announced new actions under BIG-E. In addition, representatives of Belarus, Czechia, Portugal and Switzerland discussed steps they had taken to implement their commitments made in Batumi and plans for future action.

Since the Batumi Conference, the number of stakeholders in and commitments to the two initiatives has increased with new commitments from Canada, France, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.

To date, 26 countries and 13 organizations have joined BIG-E with 121 commitments, and 27 countries and 4 organizations joined BACA with 108 commitments. These commitments support their efforts to move towards greener and more inclusive economies and to improve air quality. The two initiatives remain open for new commitments.