UNEP has launched a report entitled Towards a Green Economy, Pathways to a Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, in advance of Rio 2012, that focuses on innovative ways to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development.
The report aims to ”demystify” two myths about greening the global economy. First, sustainable development and economy go together. A green economy does not inhibit but rather provides opportunities for employment and wealth creation, it argues. Secondly, a green economy is not the prerogative of wealthy countries.
According to the report, this investment will set up the transition towards a green economy, defined as low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. A large part of this transition, however, implies policies and investment that dissociate growth from the current intensive consumption of materials and energy use.
The report also seeks to motivate policy makers to create the enabling conditions for increased investments in a transition to a green economy. Investing 2% of global GDP into ten key sectors can kick-start a transition towards a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy, a new United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report suggests. The sum, currently amounting to an average of around $1.3 trillion a year and backed by forward-looking national and international policies, would grow the global economy at around the same rate, if not higher than those forecast under current economic models.
In his foreword to the report, UNEP Executive Director Acheim Steiner writes: ”New ideas are by their very nature disruptive, but far less disruptive than a world running low on drinking water and productive land, set against the backdrop of climate change, extreme weather events and rising natural resource scarcities. A green economy does not favour one political perspective over another. It is relevant to all economies, be they State or more market-led. Neither is it a replacement for sustainable development. Rather, it is a way of realising that development at the national, regional and global levels and in ways that resonate with and amplify the implementation of Agenda 21”