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Expanding APEC’s Work to Support the Just Green Transition and Local Businesses

By Ambassador Carlos Vasquez San Francisco, The United States | 13 November 2023

Blog_AMF_Amb Vasquez

Peru faces three overlapping transitions

The APEC Multistakeholder Forum is tackling a key issue that will define our future: an effective and just green transition able to reach the ultimate goal of net zero carbon emissions economies.

APEC has been actively involved in this issue in recent years. The Non-Binding Just Energy Transition Principles endorsed by APEC Energy Ministers in Seattle in August 2023 represents a milestone on the road to achieving the goal we aspire. This effort must engage the workforce, the private companies and investors and communities. To ensure the principles of equity and inclusion, we need to promote the widest participation of women, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the vulnerable segments of our populations.

The principles endorsed by the APEC Energy Ministers constitute a sort of roadmap to steer our efforts—mainly the domestic needs of our economies, the domestic definition of equitable benefits, inclusion and gender equality, support for decent work and workforce development, and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and well-being for all.

In this context, initiatives and various forms of just transition, to ensure that the transition to a low-carbon economy is equitable and inclusive, have already taken in many APEC economies.

In Peru, we have a concrete example of a company that has succeeded in putting these principles into practice: Acceso Crediticio is its Spanish name or Access to Credit. This company provides funding to low-income taxi drivers, who do not have access to the traditional banking system to purchase a vehicle with a very low carbon emission, with the added benefit of reducing driver’s operating cost. Likewise, it offers funding for women interested in purchasing a vehicle or to start their own business.

Acceso Crediticio has combined the principles of inclusion, gender equality and environmental care. The results were so promising that the US International Development Finance Corporation offered this Peruvian company a USD 15 million-loan to boost and expand its portfolio of credits for sustainable vehicles.

Examples like this inspire us to continue our efforts and do even better to achieve the goal of a just green transition.

In Peru, particularly, we are facing two transitions: the green transition and the transition from informality to formal and global economy. But I will add a third one—the transition to empower women. There are some overlapping circles between them because usually informal activities pollute the environment, and many informal companies are managed by women. So we need to define very accurate public policies to tackle the challenges of these three simultaneous transitions at the same time. The principles adopted by the APEC Energy Ministers can be a very important benchmark to design these policies and adapting them to the needs of our economies.

Peru will be the host economy of APEC in 2024. The themes and priorities for our host year will focus on the empowerment of economic actors, mainly women, SMEs and the most vulnerable segments of our population, for their inclusion and insertion into the global economy. Our priorities will be trade and investment for inclusive growth, innovation to promote the transition to the formal and global economy, and sustainable growth for a resilient development.

On the last priority, Peru expects to promote some deliverables associated with the intensive use of renewable energies, such as green hydrogen, and the need to prevent and reduce food loss and waste to achieve sustainable food systems in APEC economies.

These are some of the outcomes we hope to achieve next year with valuable input from stakeholders in favor of a just transition in our economy.

Ambassador Carlos Vasquez is the incoming SOM Chair for APEC Peru 2024.

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