Best Practice Report


Monitoring and evaluation / Indicators / Sectoral and thematic indicators

Sectoral and thematic indicators

Sectoral indicators are needed to assess key economic sectors and progress towards specific targets. UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative provides a framework demonstrating this approach. UNEP identifies renewable energy, clean technologies, energy-efficient buildings, public transport, waste management and recycling, sustainable management of land, water, forests, fisheries, and eco-tourism as the priority sectors for target setting and associated indicators. Denmark’s Green Energy Strategy provides a national example of this sector-target approach. It includes a number of time bound targets such as 100% renewable energy across power, heat, transportation, and industry by 2050 (Danish Ministry of Climate Energy and Building, 2012).

Sectoral and thematic indicators complement headline indicators and allow the monitoring of the various underlying changes required to achieve green growth (GGKP, 2013).

There are a range of supporting concepts, methods and frameworks available which relate sectoral performance and impacts (Rademaekers et al., 2012). Prominent among these are the System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA), Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB).

A statistical indicator particularly notable is that of ‘green jobs’ as it can potentially provide a direct measure of something which is a fundamentally important characteristic of green growth. Most other green growth related indicators are either proxy indicators of green growth or measure one or another aspect of green growth without being able to assess how much of the growth is green, or which parts of the economy can be considered green. Green jobs indicators are particularly useful in this respect as they can potentially provide information on what contribution different parts of the economy are making to green growth as a whole. They also provide politically important data to support the economic case for pursuing green growth.

The United States, Brazil, Spain, and the European Union have all made assessments of green jobs (ILO, 2013 and Rademaekers et al., 2012). In the case of the United States, the green jobs survey was initiated following statements regarding green jobs during Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.