The paper presents the importance and relevance of green economies. It describes a green economy as one which results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. The report notes that moving towards a green economy has the potential to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication. It further argues that in a number of important sectors such as agriculture, buildings, forestry and transport, a green economy delivers more jobs throughout the short, medium, and long term. It notes that greening economies not only generate increased wealth (in particular natural capital), but also produces a higher rate of GDP growth. There is an inextricable link between poverty eradication and better maintenance and conservation of the ecological commons – arising from the benefit flows from natural capital that are received directly by the poor – thus a green economy is a vital strategy for poverty alleviation. In transferring to a green economy new jobs are created, in turn enhancing social equity. A green economy substitutes fossil fuels with renewable energy and low-carbon technologies, promotes enhanced resource and energy efficiency, and delivers more sustainable urban living and low-carbon mobility. In order to achieve a green economy, the report recommends that national governments and their policy-makers should endeavour to do the following:

establish sound regulatory frameworks by creating minimum standards or prohibiting certain activities entirely
prioritise government investment and spending in areas that stimulate the 'greening' of economic sectors
limit government spending in areas that deplete natural capital
employ taxes and market-based instruments to shift consumer preference and promote green investment and innovation
invest in capacity building and training to enable individuals to analyse challenges, identify opportunities, prioritise interventions, mobilise resources, implement policies and evaluate progress
strengthen international governance, through international environmental agreements and international trading systems.

Publication date
Type of publication
Renewable energy
CTCN Keyword Matches
Renewable energy
Fossil fuels to natural gas
Capacity building and training
Designing protected areas
Energy efficiency
International trade