Lebanon set to cut ministers' pay in bid to defuse protests    Match abandoned in latest blow to Mexican football    Tennis: Murray beats Wawrinka to win first title since hip surgery    Manchester City not ready to win Champions League: Guardiola    U.S. troops cross into Iraq from Syria    British PM pushes for Brexit deal vote after being forced to seek delay    Spanish PM to visit Barcelona, criticises regional chief    Liverpool's Egyptian winger Salah ruled out of Manchester United clash    EBRD bank praises Egyptian reforms efforts – official    Sisi: Russia-Africa Summit reflects historic friendship ties    Gold flat as stocks look for trade talk cues, Brexit deal    Sterling falls from 5-month peak on Brexit delay jitters    Parliament committee to address problem of stray dogs in Egypt    Lebanon PM Hariri agrees reform package in bid to resolve economic crisis: Official sources tell Reuters    Shell Egypt to sell assets in Western Desert to focus on offshore exploration    WHO hails 'triumph' as Ebola vaccine gets European green light    Current and ex smokers may lower lung cancer risk with exercise    Egypt's Sisi praises SCC's role in protecting justice, rights, freedoms    France's President Macron receives Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II at Elysee    Egypt inks deal with Euroclear Bank to upgrade public debt management    Egypt's Cooperative Insurance Society to cover NGOs clients' loans    After a young pupil dies of meningitis in Egypt, tips to help prevention    Egypt's PM urges US's ADTRAN Inc. to invest in communications equipment    French President Macron receives Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II at Elysee    'Passports should be valid for six months,' Egypt's foreign ministry advises citizens planning travel abroad    Grand Nile Tower Arts & Cultural Centre launches second round    Egypt's coach Hossam El-Badry satisfied with winning start despite technical problems    Luxor's new discoveries    Moroccan film Nomades scoops awards in Alexandria Film Festival    Toshiba's JV with Egyptian Elaraby opens regional HQ in South Africa    Six authors vie for Booker prize 2019, Atwood in the lead    In Photos: A sneak peek into rehearsals for the Cleopatra ballet world premiere    Sisi: army engaged in attrition phase against terrorism in Sinai since 2013    Sisi, Ethiopia's PM to meet in Moscow to discuss GERD issue    Sisi, Ethiopia's PM agree to overcome obstacles in Nile dam talks    Farwell to Egyptian comic actor Talaat Zakaria    Court sentences six to death, 41 to lifetime imprisonment violence related case    Trump says he would release Mideast peace plan after Israeli elections    ACWA Power compares 3 bids to supply production units for Luxor power station    What do you know about gold alloying?    NBE announces EGP 2.5m prizes for handball youth teams for their world achievements    Jennifer Lopez evokes Egyptian outrage post her North Coast performance    Al-Sisi honours Egypt's scholars on Science Day    IS claims responsibility for suicide bombing killing 63 in Afghan wedding    Political parties gear up for parliamentary, senate, local elections    Unprecedented Glory: Egypt win Men's U-19 World Handball Championship    12th National Egyptian Theatre Festival fuel up public theatre art scene    Ministry of Environment has a plan for "black clouds season"    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





The greening of growth
Published in Daily News Egypt on 27 - 06 - 2010

NAIROBI: The G-20 summit in Toronto offers an opportunity for a long, hard look at how green investments are assisting economic recovery and job growth in many countries, while generating environmental gains as well, including on climate change.
China, which channeled around one-third of its stimulus package into environmental sectors, has seen its GDP rise sharply, and employment in renewable energies such as solar has climbed to more than 1.5 million, with 300,000 workers added in 2009 alone.
Spain's unemployment rate is high, but it would undoubtedly be higher without its policy to foster wind power and other clean-tech sectors, in which a half-million jobs have been created.
South Korea has invested well over 80% of its stimulus in areas ranging from sustainable transport and low-emission vehicles to energy-efficient buildings. This has now been backed up with a five-year green-growth plan aimed at cutting carbon dependency while producing 1.8 million jobs.
India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is assisting to repair and restore a range of rural infrastructure, critical for the livelihoods of the poor, including water-storage networks in some of the poorest parts of the country, such as Andhra Pradesh. It is delivering improved water security, a 25% increase in wages for agricultural workers, and more than 3.5 billion days of work, with the program as a whole reaching 30 million families per year on average.
The city of São Paulo, which represents around one-third of Brazil's economy, is embarking on a Green Economy strategy that ranges from transport to greener buildings.
While a transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy is gaining traction globally, some claim either that it is merely a glossy repackaging of the sustainable-development agenda, or, worse, a plot to constrain rather than liberate growth in developing and least-developed countries. In either case, it is an agenda favored by developed or rapidly emerging countries, which poorer economies cannot afford.
None of this could be further from the truth. In advance of the G-20, we have assembled some key case studies — part of a major Green Economy report to be published later in the year.
In Kenya, we found that a new green-energy policy, including a feed-in tariff and 15-year power-purchase agreement, is catalyzing an initial target of 500 megawatts of geothermal, wind, and bio-fuel power, and a rise of more than 40% in the country's installed capacity.
In Uganda, policies to promote organic agriculture have generated 200,000 certified farmers and strong export growth, from under $4 million in 2003 to nearly $23 million now.
And in Thailand, market mechanisms, backed by ambitious targets, are helping the country produce businesses that are regional leaders in waste recycling, including operations now in Laos and Malaysia, while generating thousands of jobs.
Over the past two years, the Green Economy has gone from theory to practice. It is now one of the two major themes as governments prepare for the Rio+20 conference in Brazil in 2012. The inherent logic offers, perhaps for the first time, a sustainable growth paradigm that is suited to developing and developed countries alike.
New ideas and policies, especially when they challenge the status quo, will always have their critics. But, as multiple case studies demonstrate, many developing economies are making up their own minds.
The Green Economy is not a luxury, but a clear imperative on a planet of six billion people — and nine billion by 2050.The financial and economic crisis has given it wings. How far it will fly will depend on smart policies by national governments in developed and developing countries, and on forward-looking policies by regional development banks, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and bilateral development finance by OECD countries.
The G-20 summit in Toronto has the opportunity, if not the responsibility, to enable this transition by taking a leadership role in support of developing economies' aspirations. Its leaders should re-affirm their commitment to embed sustainability in the global economic recovery, and their recognition of the Green Economy's power to create a fundamentally different development path for all countries.
Achim Steiner is UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Program (UNEP) Executive Director. Pavan Sukhdev is Special Advisor to the United Nations Environment Program's Green Economy Initiative. This commentary is published by DAILY NEWS EGYPT in collaboration with Project Syndicate (www.project-syndicate.org).


Clic here to read the story from its source.