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Towards a green economy: Pathways to sustainable development and poverty eradication. A synthesis for policy makers.
Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP, 2011.  p.We argue in UNEP's forthcoming Green Economy Report, and in this extracted Synthesis for Policy Makers, that the rewards of greening the world's economies are tangible and considerable, that the means are at hand for both governments and the private sector, and that the time to engage the challenge is now. In this report, we explored through a macroeconomic model the impacts of investments in greening the economy as against investments in "business as usual" -- measuring results not only in terms of traditional GDP but also impacts on employment, resource intensity, emissions and ecological impact. We estimated, based on several studies, that the annual financing demand to green the global economy was in the range of US$ 1.05-2.59 trillion. To place this demand in perspective, it is less than one-tenth of the total global investment per year (as measured by global Gross Capital Formation). Taking an annual level of US$ 1.3 trillion (i.e. 2% of global GDP) as a target reallocation from "brown" investment to "green" investment, our macroeconomic model suggests that over time, investing in a green economy enhances long-run economic performance and can increase total global wealth. Significantly, it does so while enhancing stocks of renewable resources, reducing environmental risks, and rebuilding our capacity to generate future prosperity. Our report, Towards a Green Economy, focuses on 10 key economic sectors because we see these sectors as driving the defining trends of the transition to a green economy, including increasing human well-being and social equity, and reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Across many of these sectors, we have found that greening the economy can generate consistent and positive outcomes for increased wealth, growth in economic output, decent employment, and reduced poverty. (Excerpts)