A new report on promoting sustainable development that takes into account the natural environment (Green Growth) was presented to the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development on Wednesday 30th November 2016.

The report titled “Achieving Uganda’s Development Ambition- The Economic Impact of Green Growth: An Agenda for Action”, was prepared by the Government of Uganda, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the New Climate Economy (NCE), and the Coalition for Urban Transitions.

It outlines the potential for green growth as an avenue for structural transformation. “Cross-cutting reforms and investments in vital sectors will not only help to drive structural transformation and economic outcomes, but also social and environmental outcomes,” the report reads in part and notes that the economy, equity, and the environment are strongly interconnected.

It further says planning and designing compact and connected cities in Uganda to incorporate transit-oriented urban development, including rails and buses, could significantly boost economic productivity, create jobs, reduce poverty, improve health outcomes and improve the environment.

Some of the constraints to green growth cited in the report include; lack of clear property rights in Uganda, unstructured urban development and limited capacity to manage urban planning and projects.

According to the report, Uganda can attain green growth through ensuring resource productivity, targeted infrastructure investment and innovation.

Priority green growth interventions outlined in the report include; integrated urban planning, improved cook stoves, off-grid electricity, climate-smart agriculture (solar irrigation) and industrial energy efficiency. These will create 4 million jobs; reduce Green House Gas emission by 28%, and lead to a 10% GDP growth by 2040. However, most of the jobs would be generated through higher productivity agriculture.

The report lists key policy shifts required to support the targets of the NDPII and Vision 2040. They include- transforming agriculture, encouraging a clean energy transition, supporting industrial diversification and above all unlocking the power of urbanization.

It also cites a recent study by the New Climate Economy, which warns that climate impacts could cost Uganda US$3-6 billion per annum by 2050. When properly implemented, green growth could give Uganda benefits worth US$3.4 billion in 2020 and US$11.5 billion by 2040.

However, for successful implementation of the interventions, a twin-track agenda for action is required where the macroeconomic fundamentals must hold while investing in priority interventions for green growth.

The study involved several months of consultations and it carried out sector assessments on agriculture, energy, industry, and cities.