Over two days in the Danish capital of Copenhagen last week, the P4G Summit gathered world leaders in government, business and civil society to accelerate action on securing a sustainable future. The summit concluded with the release of the Copenhagen Commitment – a call to strengthen efforts devoted to combatting climate change and accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sharing best practices across national borders and experiencing examples of sustainable solutions in practice
In the lead up to the summit, the P4G Hub and the Danish P4G National Platform co-hosted the first national platforms gathering for partner countries involved in P4G, including Vietnam, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Kenya, Ethiopia, Colombia, Chile, and Denmark. Together, countries shared best practices on how to mobilise partnerships as a mean to guide sustainable development; build networks; as well as set up communication tools.
This included the possibility for national platforms to meet with partnerships within their respective country – to stress test the partnership in the implementation on ground. Discussions revealed a need to involve national governmental representatives to ensure support and momentum.
As part of the summit, State of Green, which is home to the Danish National Platform, hosted delegations consisting of leaders from both the public and private sectors from Chile, Bangladesh, South Korea (which included the country’s Minister for the Environment) and Kenya. The delegations visited several locations in Denmark, where they gained insight into how Denmark is working towards becoming a sustainable, CO2 neutral society.
Need for ‘unusual’ business to drive action
The first day of the summit was opened by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the Danish Prime Minister at the Confederation of Danish Industry, which is the interest organisation for the private sector in Denmark. This was followed up by panel sessions which included leading figures such as Andrew Steer, President of the World Resources Institute, Paul Poulman, CEO of Unilever and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, where the need to move away from business as usual and reach new members of society was stressed. In the following session, which focussed on the role of financial institutions in providing finance for sustainable projects, Blackrock’s Vice President Philipp Hildebrand and other panellists such as Diwakar Gupta, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank and Peter Damgaard Jensen, CEO of the Danish pensions fund PKA extinguished any lingering doubts in the audience’s minds regarding the business case for sustainable projects and shared how their individual organisation is tackling the challenge of sustainable development.
During the afternoon, participants were divided into thematic tracks that focussed on 1)Food and Agriculture, 2)Water, 3)Energy, 4)Cities and 5)Circular Economy. The different tracks were organised as working sessions, where participants were matched with relevant potential partners, businesses, finance institutions, and international organisations committed to sustainable development in order to develop new partnerships or take existing partnerships to a new level.
Day two of the summit acknowledged and celebrated efforts made by global leaders; the coming generation and state of the art partnerships to advance action on securing a sustainable future. Keynote speeches by global leaders included South Korea’s President, Ethiopia’s President, the Prime Minister of Vietnam, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, and the Prime Minister of Denmark. In his speech, the Netherlands’ Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, confirmed that the Netherlands will contribute EUR 5 million to strengthen P4G partnerships.
Partnership to reduce food loss and water consumption wins 2018 State-of-the-Art Partnership of the year award
As part of the summit, 15 selected public-private partnerships presented their work and shared lessons learned with aspiring P4G partnerships. Summit participants chose five inspiring examples that received the 2018 P4G State-of-the-Art Partnership Award and the opportunity to make a pitch for the P4G State-of-the-Art Partnership of the Year Award. All State-of-the-Art partnerships were chosen by a team of global experts and international organizations working with Danish government ministries based on their performance in four main categories: innovation, impact, potential to scale and implementation viability.
The 15 partnerships were equally distributed across the five focus SDG areas of food and agriculture, clean water, renewable energy, healthy cities and the circular economy. On 19 October, one partnership per sector was awarded the 2018 State-of-the-Art Partnership Award based on their presentations in breakout sessions. These were:
- The Courtauld Commitment 2025, which has has established a voluntary agreement to reduce food waste in the United Kingdom by 20 percent and reduce water use through the entire supply chain
- Strategic Water Partnerships Network (SWPN) in South Africa, which is a platform where private, public and civil society organisations contribute to the development and implementation of efficient and innovative solutions to water challenges in South Africa.
- The District Energy in Cities Initiative (DES), which helps developing countries and cities accelerate their transition towards more climate friendly societies by promoting modern district heating and cooling systems.
- Global Industry Partnership on Soot-Free Clean Bus Fleets, where four of the world’s largest bus and engine manufacturers have committed to making it easier for major cities to purchase buses equipped with low-emissions technologies to tackle climate change and toxic air pollution
- Next Wave Plastics, which aims to shift practices on the use of plastic in manufacturing and builds upon the current engagement around collecting ocean plastic for use in products and packaging
-Related news: 26 partnerships in the running for P4G funding
After these five teams presented and discussed their partnership with a panel of industry experts and in front of more than 500 Summit participants, a panel of industry experts selected the preeminent 2018 State-of-the-Art Partnership of the Year Award. Her Royal Highness, Princess Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark, announced Courtauld Commitment 20205 as the winner of the P4G State-of-the-Art Partnership of the Year Award at the Summit award ceremony later in the afternoon on Saturday, the second day of the summit.
“Through their presentations at the P4G Summit, these state-of-the-art partnership award winners totally inspired and heartened the outlook for collaborative action on the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges,” said P4G Global Director Ian de Cruz. “We are so proud to recognize each sector winner as well as the partnership of the year so that these projects can help drive us forward – as a P4G family and as a network of do-ers.”
“I am delighted to win such a prestigious award for WRAP’s work on delivering high-impact partnerships. This is a model, I think, that could be widely adopted around the world to help deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals cost-effectively” said Dr. Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP.
Rallying call to promote partnerships for a sustainable future
The summit culminated in the release of the Copenhagen Commitment. The commitment, which was endorsed by the summit’s participants, is a non-legal document aimed at promoting global leadership and support for public-private partnerships to accelerate delivery on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen welcomed the signing of the Copenhagen Commitment as a way to accelerate action, partnerships and solutions.
“Let’s roll up your sleeves, and get to work. Keep fighting. It underlines that in P4G – we are in it for the long run”, said the Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
The inaugural summit was attended by governments, global companies, entrepreneurs, academics, and civil society from 53 countries and marked an important first step in working to build and scale public-private partnerships and showcase what strong partnerships can achieve.
The next P4G Summit will be held in 2020.
P4G – Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 – is a new initiative with the ambition of becoming the world’s leading forum for developing concrete public-private partnerships at scale to deliver on the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. The government of Denmark is providing initial funding for P4G from 2018-2022. P4G partner countries include Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, Republic of Korea and Vietnam. P4G partner organisations include the Global Green Growth Institute, C40 Cities, World Economic Forum, and the World Resources Institute (which is the home of the P4G Global Hub).