Philosophy & History of 3GF

It is overwhelmingly evident that the world’s current economic growth model is no longer sustainable. At the same time, the transition to a green economy is part of the answer to some of the world’s most pressing challenges: depletion of natural resources, economic crisis, world global poverty and climate change. If handled intelligently, this transition – often referred to as the green industrial revolution - can by itself propel a new wave of economic growth, paralleling the IT-revolution, and secure long-term economic growth, including development in emerging economies and developing countries while mitigating the risks of climate change.

However, neither market forces nor international policies can be relied on to push for this transition by themselves. Markets will eventually react to global resource scarcities. But by then, detrimental climate changes will be a reality and the foundation for future growth seriously undermined. The same problem of slow pace, unfortunately, seems increasingly to be true of the inter-governmental agreements.

The international community needs to innovate the way it looks for solutions to global challenges. We already see examples of this in other areas; GAVI is one such very successful public-private collaboration that has ensured vaccines for millions of children worldwide. In the area of green growth, the space is also quickly being crowded with new public-private partnerships of different kinds. This is good news: The economy will not get any greener without innovations and substantial investments from the private sector. And only governments have the power and legitimacy to enforce binding rules to promote green growth at scale and speed. Creating an effective, dynamic relationship between public and private players is therefore key to advancing ambitious green growth.

Still, the question remains how to ensure that these public-private initiatives in the end amount to more than attempts to boil the sea from different angles.

Faced with this challenge, in 2011, the Danish Government together with Governments of Korea and Mexico launched a global public-private partnership for green growth, the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF). The idea behind this Forum is as simple as it is promising: Bringing all relevant parties together in order to intensify large-scale public-private action to accelerate the transition to a green economy. 3GF proposes to test a new international architecture for green growth. This takes the form of a concerted bottom-up approach to collaboration among businesses, experts and public institutions. The shared goal is green growth at scale and at speed.

Each year in Copenhagen 3GF convenes the leaders of established and emerging public-private partnerships clustered around different growth sectors within the green growth spectrum. We match them with other political and corporate leaders. And we do so with three purposes in mind:

  1. To increase horizontal coordination, learning and inspiration among the initiatives;
  2. To provide political and economic momentum to promising initiatives in order to give them the required scale in speed, and
  3. To strengthen the links to the processes of international policymaking and regulations’ setting in order to ensure that these processes are informed by those who better than anyone can point to the specific barriers for green growth and how to overcome them.

As public and private partners intersect in their varied interests in green growth new opportunities and ways of collaborating can be outlined. The potential benefits are legion and could spur employment and bring overall economic growth and prosperity for ourselves and generations to come.

The Forum’s inaugural event took place on 11-12 October 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Read more about the event here.

On 26-27 March 2012, a Preparatory Strategy Meeting in Copenhagen launched the content development for the next Forum which will take place on 8-9 October 2012. Read more about the strategy meeting here.