On 28 July 2011, the United Nations University-Institute for Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) held a joint workshop on “Greening Growth in Asia: Making Co-benefits Mainstream.” Forty participants from government agencies, international organizations, and research institutions discussed 1) the linkage between green growth and co-benefits; 2) a researchers’ perspective on co-benefits; and 3) a policymakers’ perspective on co-benefits. The discussions were framed around two goals:

  • To exchange knowledge between policymakers and researchers on co-benefits;
  • To identify pragmatic steps for mainstreaming co-benefits into decision making processes in Asia.

The following key messages from the meeting were shared during the plenary session of the International Forum for a Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP) on 26 and 27 July 2011 in Yokohama, Japan.

  • There are many points of overlap between co-benefits and green growth, including alleviating poverty and avoiding unsustainable development paths found in much of the developed world.
  • The synergies between co-benefits and green growth promise to be particularly great in Asia’s cities where there is a quickly increasing need to drive down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • It will be increasingly important for policymaker’s to integrate co-benefits considerations into their decision making processes. In so doing, it is important to position co-benefits at the heart of that process. It is equally important to recognize that there are a series of institutional issues that are outside the technical analysis but could multiply the benefits flowing from a decision.
  • There are several tools that could help ease the quantification and integration of co-benefits, though data remains a challenge. The co-benefits calculator offer a simple, easy-to-use tool to scope initial benefits before more rigorous calculations are made. It will be important to develop similar tools for other sectors and other pollutants (including short-lived climate forcers).
  • Even more challenge is the misperception that quantifying co-benefits is difficult and there are insufficient incentives to make the effort needed to overcome those difficulties.
  • One of the biggest hurdles to co-benefits is the lack of institutional memory in key agencies. This can be overcome, however, by appealing to high level decision makers to mandate the inclusion of co-benefits into decisions.
Date & Time:
28 July 2011, 9:00-12:30
The United Nations University-Institute for Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Yokohama, Japan
The United Nations University-Institute for Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
Meeting Documents:
Meeting Summary


Welcoming Remarks

  • IGES / UNU-IAS Representative

Introduction and Objectives
Introduces the concept of co-benefits and review of the objectives of the session.

  • ・Dr. Jose Puppim de Oliveira, UNU-IAS

Framing Presentation
Outlines how green growth is linked to co-benefits.

  • ・Akiko Miyatsuka, IGES
15mins each

Researcher’s Perspective
Researchers review methods for quantifying co-benefits and how they can be applied to a case study (in the transportation sector).

  • ・Puspita Dirgahayani and Chris Doll, UNU-IAS
  • ・Jane Romero and Eric Zusman, IGES

Tea break


Policymaker’s Perspective
Representatives from government agencies discuss opportunities and challenges to integrating co-benefits into policy.

  • ・Liana Bratasida, Ministry of Environment, Indonesia
  • ・Li Liping, China, Policy Research Center for the Environment and Economy
  • ・Supat Wanwongwatana, Pollution Control Department, Thailand
  • ・Keiko Kuroda, Ministry of Environment
  • ・Japan Representative Toyama City, Japan

Breakout Sessions
Attendees break up into three or four groups and generate key messages


Wrap-up and Generate Key Messages (to be shared at the Plenary)

  • ・Katsunori Suzuki, IGES / Kanazawa University