UNEP calls for strategic partnerships to boost green enterprises

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Governments and financial institutions should forge partnerships required to stimulate growth of green businesses through access to affordable credit, technologies and capacity development, a senior United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) official said on Wednesday.

Satya Tripathi, head of New York office at UNEP, said that access to capital is key to boosting growth of green enterprises that have been unleashing benefits to the environment and local communities.

"We appreciate partnership with the financial sector to help green the economies and unlock multiple benefits like poverty reduction, job creation and economic diversification," said Tripathi.

He spoke at a roundtable on transitioning to green economy held at the ongoing fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi.

Tripathi revealed that a joint initiative between UNEP and the EU that aims to promote access to finance among local start-ups in developing world has transformed rural livelihoods.

He said the Switch to Green Initiative has already benefited more than 3,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in six African countries that include Kenya, Uganda, Mauritius, Ghana, Burkina Faso and South Africa.

"The Switch to Green is a strategic vehicle that is driving ecological transformation and economic growth in developing countries," said Tripathi.

Marjeta Jager, deputy director general for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission said that access to green financing is key to promoting green entrepreneurship required to reduce global carbon footprint.

"Green enterprises should leverage on innovative financing schemes to scale up their projects and hasten the switch to low carbon economic development," Marjeta remarked.

She disclosed the Switch to Green Initiative that is being implemented in 39 countries worldwide has contributed to the adoption of sustainable production and consumption practices by 100,000 SMEs while sustaining 350,000 jobs.

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