Green economies for growth, urges UN

Published on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 09:03
Posted by Scott Buckler

Investing $1.3 trillion (£800bn) each year in green sectors would deliver long-term stability in the global economy, a UN report has suggestedSpending about 2% of global GDP in 10 key areas would kick-start a "low carbon, resource efficient green economy", the authors observed.


They also recommended following policies that decoupled economic growth from intensive consumption.

The findings have been published at a meeting attended by 100 ministers.

"Governments have a central role in changing laws and policies, and in investing public money in public wealth to make the transition possible," said Pavan Sukhdev, head of the UN Environment Programme's (Unep) Green Economy Initiative.

"Misallocation of capital is at the centre of the world's current dilemmas and there are fast actions that can be taken, starting literally today," he added.

"From phasing down and phasing out the $600bn global fossil fuel subsidies, to re-directing more than $20bn subsidies perversely rewarding those in unsustainable fisheries."

Unep defined a "green economy" as one that resulted in "improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities".

When it came to investing 2% of GDP in greening the global economy, the authors recommended a number of investments, including:

    * $108bn greening agriculture, such as encouraging and supporting smallholder farms
    * $134bn on the building sector, including improving energy efficiency
    * $110bn improving fisheries, including reducing the capacity of the world's fishing fleet
    * $15bn on forestry, with "important knock-on benefits for combating climate change"
    * Almost of $110bn on both water and waste, including sanitation and recycling


Source: ©BBC News

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