Green Economy Initiative, UNEP
The Rio+20 agenda includes discussion of the green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development. The case for a green economy goes beyond environmentalism – it is about adapting to dramatically changing conditions to ensure continued well-being and stability.
These new dynamics pose fundamental challenges for societies, nations and businesses, not just in the distant future, but already in the coming decade. We are in a world defined by scarcities and urgently need more sophisticated economic models and indicators that successfully combine economy and ecology.
The concept of the ‘green economy’ has been suggested as a remedy for market and institutional failures neglected in the conventional development model, and as a more effective pathway to advance economic, social, and environmental goals. Reports by leading international organizations, such as UNEP and UNDP, have addressed the issue in the run-up to Rio+20, as well how an inclusive transition to a green economy might be realised. However, a green economy in terms of environmental sustainability is not necessarily inclusive in terms of development for all.
There are clear indications of ‘policy tipping points’, where national governments and major businesses, motivated by competitiveness, development needs and security concerns, have begun to change core policies in line with a transition towards a ‘green economy’. But these changes, driven by self-interest, are not providing strong enough incentives; there is an urgent need for strong, ambitious environmental policy and global agreements to build and maintain stable enabling conditions for an inclusive transition to a green economy.
- June 15th: Green economy and rethinking social and economic models
- June 18th: The Economics of Low Carbon Cities
- June 18th: Reframing environmental negotiations to create opportunities