During the last few years, greening the economy in the Alps has become a priority throughout various sectors. It refers to the transformation process of the Alpine economies towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient, environmentally and socially sustainable model. This transformation requires a paradigm shift in the current understanding of the relationship between the economy, the environment and the people, as well as in the way economic processes are carried out. Green economy is thus a holistic approach that tries to address all sectors of economy and society in order to reconcile economic investments with environmental conservation and social protection.
The Alps, with their specific challenges and their unique resources, have the potential to function as a laboratory to see a green economy in action, as well as to spread it beyond their borders.
Although never explicitly mentioned in the Protocols, green economy and its underlying principles can be considered a recurring theme in the Alpine Convention’s legal texts. Additionally, the topic was subject to an in-depth analysis in the 6th Report on the State of the Alps. Since the publication of RSA 6 in 2016, the Alpine Convention work on Green economy has continued through the drafting in 2019 of a Green Economy Action Programme (GEAP), which aims at putting into practice the learnings from the RSA. The GEAP identified the key thematic areas and formulated the priority objectives with regards to progress towards an Alpine green economy 2030. The Action Programme has also singled out action fields for targeted and effective measures, namely:
- greening finance and the financial support structures;
- encouraging eco-innovation;
- greening regional development;
- valorising ecosystems and biodiversity;
- living and working in a green economy.
For each of these action fields, the GEAP has developed a set of concrete actions, i.e. processes that are manageable, realistic and impactful and that help to foster the transformation toward green economy. In total there are 33 actions, which may be implemented and tailored to demands, priorities and capacities.
Finally, to monitor the progress towards Green Economy, the Alpine Conference has called for regular Progress Reports to be drafted. The first one has been presented to the XVI Alpine Conference.
Protocols and Declarations
Furthermore, the underlying principles of green economy are directly or indirectly addressed in the Framework Convention as well as in the Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development Protocol, the Mountain Farming Protocol, the Mountain Forests Protocol, the Tourism Protocol, the Energy Protocol and the Transport Protocol.
Thematic Working Bodies
- Ad-hoc Working Group for the preparation of the 8th Report on the State of the Alps (2019-2020)
Green Economy Advisory Board (2016-2019)
Sustainable Tourism Working Group (2014-2019)
Mountain Forests Working Group (2012-2019)
Mountain Agriculture Platform (2011-2019)