Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Green Growth"

Green growth strategy

We have lost reverence for nature. Photo: Amirul Rajiv

12 December 2010 - Several economists have been arguing for sustainable economic development which takes care of the natural resources and can ensure intergenerational equity since the 1960s, though it was not until the 1970s that an international environmental policy was thought of at the policy level.

In 1972, a milestone was reached with the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which resulted in the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep). During the 1980s two ground breaking reports, "Our Common Future" (1987) and "The Global Possible" (1985), highlighted issues such as poverty, natural resource degradation and the need to build on common interest of sustaining the world. Thus the environmental issue reappeared in the development discourse.

Throughout the 1990s several reports, including the major ones produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have been warning about the probable negative impacts of climate change. Economists also estimated the cost and benefit of climate change.

The famous Stern Review (2006) on the economics of climate change led by the British economist Nicholas Stern concluded that 1% of global gross domestic product (GDP) per annum is required to be invested in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, and that failure to do so could risk global GDP being up to 20% lower than it otherwise might be.

By ignoring such caution countries, particularly the developed and developing ones, followed a development path which is based on the philosophy of accelerating growth by way of burning fossil fuels and emitting carbon. And now, with the resurfacing of food, fuel and financial crisis, the need for changing the pattern of growth is being increasingly recognised across the world. {continued}

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