Senegal’s green economy offers massive opportunities

A new UNEP report shows massive opportunities for Senegal through the transition to a green economy – lifting an estimated 500,00 people out of poverty and creating 30,000 new jobs.

Green Economy Senegal_UNEP

Copyright: UNEP

The Green Economy Scoping Study for Senegal (Le Rapport Exploratoire sur l’Economie Verte) was presented at a high-profile event to launch the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a United Nations initiative that will assist the implementation of green economy policies in Senegal.

“The findings of this study show the enormous opportunity that a green economy transition represents, and that investing further in the environment can support Senegal’s development process, without jeopardizing our future growth,” said Mr. Abdoulaye Balde, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development in Senegal.

Huge potential for job creation and poverty reduction

The report was prepared by UNEP in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Centre of Policy Studies for Development under the Ministry of Economy and Finances of Senegal. It finds that increased investment will lead to higher growth, more jobs, and better environmental outcomes than similar investments into business-as-usual (BAU) sectors.

In the report, GDP is estimated to be 11 per cent higher under a green economy scenario by 2035, compared to a BAU scenario. This increased growth leads to a substantial reduction in poverty, with less than 20 per cent of the population in poverty by 2035, compared to 24 per cent in the BAU scenario. This is the equivalent of lifting 500,000 people out of poverty. 

In Senegal, agriculture employs 56.7 per cent of the total population. Improvements in production in this sector will, therefore, have a large effect on the economy. Green investments in sustainable agriculture technologies and techniques will prevent soil degradation and lead to an increase in agricultural production 0.5-1.25 per cent higher than BAU by 2035.

In other sectors, such as energy, green investments are expected to bring about an increase in employment. In the renewable energy sector, increased investment could create up to 30,000 new jobs.

A green economy transition also has positive environmental impacts. In terms of CO2, emissions are anticipated to be about 9 per cent lower in green economy scenarios than under BAU (26.7 million tonnes). In addition, improvements are expected in water quality, reduced soil pollution and improved waste management.

Senegal joins PAGE

The event in Dakar also marks the start of the PAGE initiative in Senegal. The initiative unites the expertise of UNEP, International Labour Organization, United Nations Institute for Training and Research, United Nations Industrial Development Organization and United Nations Development Programme, and will promote green industry, trade and jobs, as well as research and institutional capacity building on the green economy.

“The Partnership of Action for Green Economy is a model example of the United Nations System ‘delivering as one’ to support countries’ move to greener development paths. With five UN organizations working together, the government of Senegal is receiving a coordinated and complementary service, leveraging the expertise of these different agencies,” said Mrs Bintou Djibo, UN Resident Coordinator in Senegal.

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