The green economy is one that results in “improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities” (UNEP 2010). In its simplest expression, a green economy is low-carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive. In a green economy, growth in income and employment are driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
These investments need to be catalysed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes. The development path should maintain, enhance and, where necessary, rebuild natural capital as a critical economic asset and as a source of public benefits. This is especially important for poor people whose livelihoods and security depend on nature.
The key aim for a transition to a green economy is to enable economic growth and investment while increasing environmental quality and social inclusiveness. Critical to attaining such an objective is to create the conditions for public and private investments to incorporate broader environmental and social criteria. In addition, the main indicators of economic performance, such as growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) need to be adjusted to account for pollution, resource depletion, declining ecosystem services, and the distributional consequences of natural capital loss to the poor.
This part 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 part 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 part 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 part 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.
This part 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.
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