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“When environment-related public spending is compared to the much-larger economic costs of environmental damage, governments tend to sit up and take notice – and invest more in sustainability.

Depending on the country, public expenditure ranges from 15-60 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Generally, only a few per cent of this is directed towards environmental investments, even though the costs of a damaged environment often run into double figures.

Aligning a larger chunk public money with poverty-reduction and environmental objectives could be a game-changer, saving developing countries precious budgetary resources.

This is one of the lessons emerging from an analysis of the work of the Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI), an initiative jointly developed by the UN Development Programme and UN Environment, over the past decade.

With programmes in 25 countries – nine of them in Africa – PEI has supported Member States to integrate pro-poor and environmentally sustainable objectives into national, subnational and sectoral development policies, plans and budgets to contribute to reducing poverty and creating a greener economy…”

Read on at: United Nations Environment Programme.