Investing in greener economy could spur growth: U.N.

Investing in greener economy could spur growth

Investing in greener economy could spur growth: U.N. People stand on the world's largest solar-powered boat in Cancun December 8, 2010. REUTERS/Gerardo Garcia

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Channeling 2 percent, or $1.3 trillion, of global gross domestic product into greening sectors such as construction, energy and fishing could start a move toward a low-carbon world, a report launched on Monday said.

The investment would expand the global economy at the same rate, if not higher, as under present economic policies, said the report by the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP).

“Investing 2 per cent of global GDP into 10 key sectors can kick-start a transition toward a low-carbon world,” the Nairobi-based agency said in a statement.

“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.”

UNEP’s Executive Director Achim Steiner said in the statement: “With 2.5 billion people living on less than two dollars a day and with more than two billion people being added to the global population by 2050, it is clear that we must continue to develop and grow our economies.

“But this development cannot come at the expense of the very life support systems on land, in the oceans or in our atmosphere.”

More (click here) Scientific American, Reuters

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One Response to Investing in greener economy could spur growth: U.N.

  1. Alan Burke says:

    See also the Guardian UK:

    Green economy needs 2% of every nation’s income, says UN

    Global green investment drive ‘would pay off in terms of jobs, cleaner air and energy use’

    An investment of 2% of global GDP would more than pay for itself in the form of millions of new jobs, the development of new industries, health benefits from cleaner air, energy efficiency savings and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions … While India has a national action plan expected to stimulate $1tn of investment in the next decade, and China – already the biggest producer of wind power and solar panels – is pushing ahead with a five-year plan for a “clean revolution”, other economies are wavering.

    … the UN estimates that about $1.3 trillion, equivalent to about 2% of global GDP, will need to be invested overall.

    Now that the details are published, here’s how that figure breaks down:

    • $362bn (£223bn) for energy, to develop renewable forms of power and help to increase energy efficiency.

    • $194bn on transport, including the development of cleaner and greener forms of transport, the provision of more public transport infrastructure and ways to better design cities.

    • $134bn on buildings – to be spent equipping buildings better for future stresses, including through insulation and improved weather-proofing.

    • $134bn on tourism – greening tourism could give many countries access to a vibrant, growing sector of the economy, as well as reducing the damage that travel does currently.

    • $108bn for agriculture, in order to raise productivity, make the most of scarce water supplies, and preserve soil fertility.

    • $108bn on fishing, to better manage declining fish stocks. Much of the money may have to go on compensating fishermen, because the UN calculates that the world’s fishing fleet should be halved.

    • $108bn on waste and recycling, to cut the amount of waste going to landfills by about 70% within two decades.

    • $108bn on water and sanitation, to help preserve existing water supplies, prevent the wasteful use of irrigation, and give millions of people access to safe water supplies and decent sewage treatment.

    • $76bn for industry to improve efficiency and cut down on the wasteful use of natural resources.

    • $15bn to halve deforestation in the next 20 years.

    The UNEP report is available here: How two per cent of global GDP can trigger greener, smarter growth while fighting poverty

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