The Flagship Initiative
What is SWITCH to Green?
A flagship initiative aiming at facilitating the transition to an inclusive green economy that generates growth, creates decent jobs, and helps reduce poverty. SWITCH to green contributes to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular goal 12: “Ensuring sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns”. SWITCH to green should also be seen in the context of the EU action plan on circular economy, which acknowledges the global dimension of the circular economy and foresees EU cooperation with international organisations and other interested partners as part of the global efforts to reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
SWITCH to green builds on several initiatives, in particular the SWITCH regional programmes:
- in Asia: http://www.switch-asia.eu
- in Africa: http://www.switchafricagreen.org
- in the Mediterranean: http://switchmed.eu
The initiative provides a platform to improve the overall coherence and coordination of EU funded initiatives on green economy. Among others, it aims to strengthen the linkages between macro-level initiatives -such as the UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE: http://www.un-page.org) – and micro-level interventions -such as the green business components of the SWITCH regional programmes- in order to reinforce synergies and create stronger enabling environments for green economies.
It combines policy level cooperation to contribute to the establishment of the right incentive structures and instruments, with support to private sector initiatives to promote sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices and the development of green businesses. The expected results of the initiative are:
- Inclusive green economy policy reforms take shape/are in place in partner countries;
- Economic actors are better equipped and have greater opportunities to develop green business and/or apply SCP practices in partner countries.
In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community acknowledges the importance of SCP practices, through a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 12) and various targets across the agenda. EU development policy explicitly backs the transition to green economy in partner countries. The EU has significant experience with international cooperation on SCP to contribute to this process. It has committed more than EUR 200 million over recent years to support the development of SCP policies and green business initiatives in developing countries under the SWITCH regional programmes. The EU also has relevant domestic experience to share with partner countries. Initiatives such as the Resource-efficient Europe roadmap or the Green Action Plan for SMEs provide instructive blueprints, with significant lessons learnt for partner countries. Thus, EU international cooperation on green economy aims to build on the EU’s domestic experience and to contribute to EU’s efforts to achieve policy coherence for development.