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Green Economy Report

Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication

The Green Economy Report is compiled by UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative in collaboration with economists and experts worldwide. It demonstrates that the greening of economies is not generally a drag on growth but rather a new engine of growth; that it is a net generator of decent jobs, and that it is also a vital strategy for the elimination of persistent poverty. The report also seeks to motivate policy makers to create the enabling conditions for increased investments in a transition to a green economy.


Acknowledgements, Forward, Contents
PART I: Investing in natural capital
This chapter provides evidence to inspire policy makers to support increasing green investments in the sector, and guidance on how to enable this transformation. It aims to enhance food security, reduce poverty, improve nutrition and health, create rural jobs and reduce pressure on the environment.
This chapter demonstrates the current economic and social value of marine fisheries to the world, and estimates the sector’s full potential if it were managed within the framework of a green economy. It also explores how to foster much needed reforms and channel investment that will help shift marine fisheries to a more sustainable future.
This chapter identifies the contributions that water can play in assisting a transition to a green economy. It makes the case for early investment in water management and infrastructure to make greater use of biodiversity and ecosystem services. It also provides guidance on the government arrangements and policy reforms that can sustain and increase the benefits associated with such a transition.
The chapter on forests assesses the gap between “business-as-usual” in the forest sector and the role of forests in a green economy. It reviews the current range of green investments in the sector and how they are likely to affect both the timber industry and ecosystem services on which the livelihoods of the poorest depend.
PART II: Investing in energy and resource efficiency
This chapter makes the case for increasing investment to green the energy sector with a focus on the renewable energy supply. It describes the current world energy supply and the growing role of renewable sources of energy within it, as well as discusses the challenges and opportunities facing both governments and the energy sector.
This chapter looks at the costs to the sector under a “business-as-usual” scenario and offers a number of strategic approaches to encourage green manufacturing investments in different technologies. It argues that investing in greening manufacturing can often be profitable to business and increase employment, while reducing pressure on the environment.
The chapter identifies the contributions that the waste sector can play in assisting in a transition to a green economy. It provides guidance for policy makers, and identifies the economic, environmental and social impacts of investments in the waste sector.
The chapter makes a strong economic case greening the building sector, and provides guidance on policies and instruments needed to bring about this transformation. The chapter encompasses both new construction and the retrofitting of existing buildings, with a focus on urban areas, which are expanding and now home to more than half of the world’s population.
This chapter examines the role of transport in a green economy. Drawing on the Avoid, Shift and Improve strategy, it highlights the challenges and opportunities of shifting to a greener transport system. It also examines the various options and conditions required to enable such a transition.
This chapter shows how green investment in this sector can contribute to economically viable and robust growth, decent work creation and poverty alleviation, while improving resource efficiency and minimising environmental degradation. It makes the case for investing in “greening” the sector and provides guidance on how to mobilise such investments.
The chapter makes a case for green cities. It describes the environmental, social and economic consequences of greening urban systems and infrastructure, and provides guidance to policy makers on how to make cities more environmentally friendly. It includes a summary of green practices and looks at the enabling conditions needed foster green cities.
PART III: Supporting the transition to a global green economy
The analysis carried out in the GER focuses on the transition towards a green economy, characterised by high resource-efficient and low carbon intensity, assessing the needs for a short to medium term transition and evaluating the impacts of a longer-term greener economic development.
The report demonstrates that certain enabling conditions need to be created and maintained to attract investment in green economic activity. This chapter focuses on the measures that could be feasibly introduced in the short to medium term by governments at all levels, and explores a suite of policy options and tools available to promote a global green economy transition.
The chapter examines how the green economy is currently being financed and explores the priorities and potential methods for increasing these investments. It makes the case for scaling up financing to help drive the transition and amplifying the financial sector’s role as an agent of change.