OECD COP28 Virtual Pavilion

No net zero without SMEs: Accelerating the green transition of SMEs

Dec 5, 2023 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM


With small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generating around 40% of business-sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, there can be no net zero without SMEs. Equally, SMEs, start-ups and the entrepreneurs behind them, are important drivers of the many innovations that can advance sustainable development and the green transition. However, smaller businesses and entrepreneurs face numerous challenges in advancing on the green transition. Improving access to finance, for example, will be essential. Despite the recent and significant growth in the sustainable finance market, most SMEs still face barriers in tapping into this pool of funds. This, in part, reflects a lack of awareness, but also reflects challenges in measuring and reporting on environmental performance, not least because reporting requirements across and within countries remain heterogeneous. This session will explore the importance for regulatory and policy frameworks to support the active participation of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the green transition, taking SME specificities into account upstream. It will also consider how innovation policies are key for green start-ups and green innovation in SMEs, while upskilling and business support services can help small business owners assess their environmental performance and take concrete actions.

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