11.04.2011 / News - EU Level

The UN Green Economy Report

Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication

The United Nations Environment Programme today released a ground-breaking new report challenging the misconception that investment in green technologies and business models harms the economy by arguing that the exact opposite is true.
Titled Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, the report outlines an economic growth path up to 2050 that would deliver GDP growth while keeping atmospheric concentrations of CO2 equivalent below 450 parts per million.It concludes that this green global economy would deliver higher growth in GDP and GDP per capita than business as usual while mitigating many of the risks associated with climate change, resource shortages and environmental damage.
The report calculates that the cost of shifting to a green growth economy stands at just two per cent of GDP, about $1.3tr at current levels, which should be spread across 10 key sectors: agriculture, buildings, energy, fisheries, forests, manufacturing, tourism, transport, water and waste management.
The report's central conclusion is that a green economy is simply better than business as usual. "A green economy creates jobs and economic progress, while at the same time avoiding considerable downside risks such as the effects of climate change, greater water scarcity and the loss of ecosystem services," it states. Moreover, the higher annual growth rates delivered by the green economy can be delivered within just five to 10 years, meaning the initial cost of the transition can be covered relatively quickly as a result of improvements in energy efficiency and reductions in environmental damage.
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