Green Economy Report: A Preview
Foreword Our current economic models are unlikely to allow us to achieve the multiple goals the international community has set, including Agenda 21 at the Rio Earth Summit and the Millennium Development Goals set out at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Nearly twenty years after Rio, we have come to realize that a more sophisticatedeconomic lens and a more evolved economic model are needed if we are collectively to thrive over the coming years and decades. The Green Economy Initiative – launched by UNEP in 2008, at the height of the global financial and economic crises – has served to inform governments of two unique opportunities. First, that a significant slice of the multi-trilliondollar stimulus packages could, iftargeted at environmental investments, be deployed to revive the global economy, save and create employment, while also assisting in addressing emerging environmental challenges. Second, that such investments coupled with domestic policy reforms in some key areas and the development of international policy and market infrastructure, could set the stage for a transition to a truly “Green Economy” : onewhich achieves increasing wealth, provides decent employment, successfully tackles inequities and persistent poverty, and reduces ecological scarcities and climate risks. The Global Green New Deal report, released in February 2009, recommended that one per cent of global GDP, or somewhere under a third of the global stimulus packages, might assist in this transition. Large investments have, infact, been earmarked in many countries around the world. Relevant bodies and forums, from the G20 to the OECD ministerial meetings, have also underlined green growth and the green economy as an important new direction. The UN Secretary-General and the UN system as a whole have also lent their wholehearted support. The Green Economy Initiative has gained traction across capital cities, many of whichare now requesting support on how best to tailor a green economic transition to their often differing developmental, social and environmental departure points and circumstances. Requests cover many of the economic sectors analyzed in our forthcoming “Green Economy Report”. This brochure offers, in a sense, a first preview of the Report and focuses on three sectors, namely fisheries, transport andwater. The Green Economy has rapidly evolved from the theoretical and global, to the national and practical. Its implementation depends in large part in a fresh framing of choices in terms of development so they capture the full suite of challenges and opportunities. This lens, in turn, can assist decision makers, such as ministers of environment, transport, planning, finance and indeed a head ofstate to make more informed decisions. It can also provide the business community with a new vehicle to motivate green investments. It is time to catalyze and embed the Green Economy transition across the globe from the international level down to the local community. The Green Economy can – if brought into the cabinet rooms, board rooms and town hall chambers – offer a viable alternative to theunsustainable status quo. As we prepare for Rio+20, and its focus on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, we can embark on making it more operational and set about the kind of fine-tuning that will ensure it stays the course and help address the needs of sustainable development and poverty eradication over the coming decades. Foreword
AchimSteiner UNEP Executive Director United Nations Under-Secretary General 02 - 03
Green Economy Green Economy A Green Economy is characterized by substantially increased investments in economic sectors that build on and enhance the earth’s natural capital or reduce ecological scarcities and environmental risks. These sectors include renewable energy, low-carbon transport, energyefficient...