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Ian de Cruz of P4G explains how his organisation, which is funded by Denmark and the Netherlands, is bringing together governments, civil society and the private sector to catalyse game-changing projects to tackle climate change and the SDGs
The 2015 Paris Agreement made clear that governments, businesses and civil society need to act together to bring about positive and permanent change for a greener, more inclusive future. Since then, we’ve seen commitments, national development plans, and increased investment. We’ve seen promising investments in renewable energy infrastructure, electric vehicle deployments, and energy-efficient buildings. But the question remains: how do we ensure actionat the pace and scale needed to ensure a better world for future generations?
The P4G Initiative – shorthand for Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 – was formed in 2018 and aims to provide some solutions to this question by identifying alignments between governments, civil society organisations and the private sector to incite action on the world’s sustainability targets.
These targets – concentrated in 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals – chart a transformative course towards a more prosperous, equitable, and environmentally and economically sound world. According to the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, the Goals hold $12trn worth of business opportunity, ranging from affordable urban housing to technology advances combating food loss and waste. P4G’s emphasis on partnerships capitalises upon the opportunities set forth in these Global Goals as opportunities to achieve sustained growth in both the short and long term.
Through funding and facilitation support, P4G recognises ideas that are not only innovative but are also inherently scalable and fit to transform entire systems and societies. In its first year P4G identified 24 partnerships working to accelerate progress towards a greener future. The initiative granted more than $5.3m to support the growth and implementation of these projects.
Three examples from 2018 show the diversity of impact and approach inherent in all P4G projects:
Indonesia Food Loss and Waste Action Partnership Led by the Food and Land Use Coalition, this partnership is building a cross-sector programme to reduce food loss and waste in Indonesia by 50% by 2030. As the world’s fourth-most populous country, with 11% of its 260 million residents living below the national poverty line, Indonesia wastes the equivalent of 300 kilograms per person, much of it lost before it gets to consumers. The agricultural sector represents about a third of total employment in Indonesia. More than 90% of farming is by small family farmers who would be the primary beneficiaries of food loss savings. The Coalition will bring together government ministries, businesses such as Olam, Unilever, Yara, Rabobank and Syngenta, and civil society partners to develop a plan to reduce food loss and waste in Indonesia, leveraging success with similar approaches in the Netherlands, the UK and the United States, such as better storage technologies, improved shipping and distribution and staff training.
The Zero Emission Bus Rapid-deployment Accelerator (Zebra)This partnership is working with Mexico City and São Paulo, Brazil – megacities with more than 20 million residents – and Medellín, Colombia, to replace diesel buses with electric ones, delivering cleaner air and reducing climate-warming carbon emissions. Led by the International Council on Clean Transportation, along with C40 Cities, Zebra expects to secure a public commitment from regional finance institutions to invest $1bn in zero emission bus deployment in Latin America by 2021. In addition, Zebra will gain commitments from major bus manufacturers to support the growth of electric buses in Latin America through collaboration on vehicle specifications, charging strategies, pilot projects, financing and other steps necessary for fleet-wide deployment of zero emission buses.
Global Smart Green Logistics Innovation Partnership Together with P4G, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd (“Cainiao”), the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, the China Environmental Protection Foundation (CEPF) and Xiamen Municipal Government, will spearhead the growth of a green-packaging programme, zero packaging waste programme and electric vehicles delivery programme from the south-eastern Chinese city of Xiamen to other cities in China and globally as part of the Global Smart Green Logistics Innovation partnership. Cainiao Network, with a specially designated fund set up under CEPF, has devoted funding to promote green logistics for the long term. Cainiao rolled out the first green logistics city initiative in Xiamen, with a pilot programme started in late 2017. In Xiamen, a port city of 3.5 million people, Cainiao Network and CEPF are working with the Xiamen municipal government to set up more than 100 city-wide package recycling points by the end of 2018, where packaging waste is gathered, and sorted and processed for treatment and reuse. Cainiao also has begun deploying and promoting electric vehicles to deliver packages across the city.
P4G began accepting online applications for 2019 from partnerships with similar game-changing projects in developing countries demonstrated by the 2018 cohort. P4G will accept applications from qualified partnerships until February 15, 2019. To learn more, visit the P4G website at p4gpartnerships.org.
Funded by the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, P4G works in partnership with leaders in Chile, Colombia, Denmark Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam as well as partner organizations C40 Cities, Global Green Growth Institute, World Economic Forum and the World Resources Institute, which hosts the global P4G Hub. The initiative also cultivates projects that address sustainable development progress in five key areas: food and agriculture, water, energy, cities, and the circular economy.
While our journey is challenging, it is exciting to recognise the potential that emerges from the pairing of business imperative with political leadership. P4G looks forward to working with like-minded partners to drive the pace and scale of change needed to achieve a more sustainable and inclusive world.
Ian de Cruz is global director of P4G.SDGs Food and Land Use Coalition climate change Indonesia C40 Cities World Resources Institute Alibaba green logistics zero emissions buses