UNEP launches green economy report

Updated: 2011-11-17 10:55

By Yu Hongyan (chinadaily.com.cn)

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched a report in Beijing on Wednesday to guide a global shift towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive future.

The report, entitled Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, aims to debunk myths and misconceptions about greening the global economy, and provides guidance to policy makers on what reforms are needed to unlock the productive and employment potential of a green economy.

It confirms that an investment of two percent of global GDP across 10 key sectors is what is required to kick start a shift from the current brown polluting and inefficient economy to a green one.

The 10 sectors in the report are agriculture, fisheries, water, forests, renewable energy, manufacturing, waste, buildings, transport and tourism.

The report acknowledges that in the short-term, job losses in some sectors like fisheries are inevitable if they are to transit towards sustainability. However, over time, the number of "new and decent jobs created" in sectors - ranging from renewable energies to more sustainable agriculture - will offset those lost from the "brown economy"

China is currently the world's leading investor in renewable energy, overtaking Spain in 2009, and spending $49 billion in 2010, according to UNEP.

It is also committed to spending $468 billion over the next five years, more than double the previous five years.

"China considers the green economy a strategic choice in an increasingly resource constrained world and we have made that choice in our development plans," said He Bingguang, director general of the Department of Resource Conservation and Environmental Protection in China's National Development and Reform Commission.

He said that green economy is largely driven by government policy but the market is to play a bigger role in the future.

He also urged international bodies to work out a unified standard on the definition of "green economy".