Green Economy: A Transformation to Address Multiple Crises
The current financial and economic crisis is throwing millions of people into poverty, especially the most vulnerable in the developing world. This is happening amidst the ongoing food, water, energy, ecosystem, and climate crises.. Together, these crises are undermining the efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and setting back development progress of the past few decades.
The financial and economic crisis requires a collective response from the international community. Leading economies should continue and further strengthen the coordination of their stimulus programmes to revive global economic growth. Apart from addressing urgent needs in such areas as social safety nets, health, and education, programmes should lay a solid foundation for shared growth and sustainable development. Furthermore, the international community should ensure that developing countries have not only the fiscal space to launch their own stimulus programmes but also access to international markets for a rapid resumption of trade.
Central to the new economic foundation are new growth poles that can potentially contribute to economic recovery, decent job creation, and reduced threats of food, water, energy, ecosystem and climate crises, which have disproportionate impacts on the poor. Investing stimulus funds in such sectors as energy efficient technologies, renewable energy, public transport, sustainable agriculture, environmentally friendly tourism, and the sustainable management of natural resources including ecosystems and biodiversity, reflects the conviction that a green economy can create dynamic new industries, quality jobs, and income growth while mitigating and adapting to climate change and arresting biodiversity decline.
This seems like a complete no-brainer. Catastrophic environmental changes are the biggest crisis facing humanity in the foreseeable future. In the short term the financial crisis is creating a lot of pain. Massive movement towards a Green Economy seems to kill two very nasty birds with one stone. What could be more blindingly obvious? Even America is starting to wake up to this, and of course our own Greens are poised and ready (hello Labour – where are we on this!).
But what really rips my shorts is the way this UN announcement has sunk like a stone in the local and world media. Try this Google News search – there are hits, but not many, and the big news sources are notably absent. It’s like the answers to the Big Questions are being shouted in to the void, and no one is listening…