By Paul Eccleston
A global green ‘New Deal’ is needed to transform the world’s economies, according to a new UN report.
But it would be aimed at a fundamental restructuring of economies weaning away dependence on oil [….] and more sustainable sources of energy.
The Green Economy Initiative from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) calls for global economies which invest in better care and management of the Earth’s natural resources such as rainforests and oceans.
Rather than more boom and bust cycles and the continued asset stripping of dwindling resources, the new green system would nurture and re-invest in them.
It would refocus the global economy, trigger a 21st century employment boom and at the same time combat climate change, it is claimed.
Launching the report in London Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director, said the worldwide financial crisis had created an historic opportunity to replace a system which had seen the world’s GDP double between 1981-2005
“benefits ranging from new green jobs in clean teach and clean energy businesses up to ones in sustainable agriculture and conservation-based enterprises,” he said.
Mr Steiner said that even though the world’s focus was on the financial crisis, the pressing problems of food, fuel, energy and especially climate change had not altered and the world had no alternative but to reach a deal at the climate conference in Copenhagen next year.
“We need to accelerate towards a green economy. We are talking about nothing less than the transformation of our economies in effect a global green New Deal,” he said.
“[….] governments need to change the signals about how the markets work.”
The report has identified six keys areas which would underpin the New Deal:
- Clean energy, cleaner technologies including recycling
- Rural energy including renewables and sustainable biomass
- Sustainable agriculture
- Ecosystem infrastructure
- Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation.
- Sustainable cities including planning, transport and buildings.
Pavan Sukdhev, a banker seconded to UNEP, who is leading an attempt to draw up an ‘inventory’ of the Earth’s resources and what they are worth, said current economic models were now at the limit of what they could deliver.