THE GREEN ECONOMY

We did an overview of the colours of economy in this previous article. This article talks on the principle of  green economy.

A green economy is defined as “low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive”. It basically has a goal of sustainable development without negatively affecting the environment.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) representing global business defines green economy as “an economy in which economic growth and environmental responsibility work together in a mutually reinforcing fashion while supporting progress on social development

In a green economy, economic growth and employment are centred around activities that allows reduced pollution and emission of carbon, conservation of biodiversity and the ecosystem.

PRINCIPLES OF THE GREEN ECONOMY

There are five principles that govern the existence of the green economy. They include:

Wellbeing. Justice. Planetary Boundaries. Efficiency and sufficiency. Good governance

  1. The Wellbeing Principle.

A green economy enables all people to create and enjoy prosperity.

– The green economy is people-centred. Its purpose is to create genuine, shared prosperity.

– It focuses on growing wealth that will support wellbeing. This wealth is not merely financial, but includes the full range of human, social, physical and natural capitals.

– It prioritizes investment and access to the sustainable natural systems, infrastructure, knowledge and education needed for all people to prosper.

– It offers opportunities for green and decent livelihoods, enterprises and jobs.

– It is built on collective action for public goods, yet is based on individual choices

  1. The Justice Principle

The green economy promotes equity within and between generations.

– The green economy is inclusive and non-discriminatory. It shares decision-making, benefits and costs fairly; avoids elite capture; and especially supports women’s empowerment.

-It promotes the equitable distribution of opportunity and outcome, reducing disparities between people, while also giving sufficient space for wildlife and wilderness.

– It takes a long-term perspective on the economy, creating wealth and resilience that serve the interests of future citizens, while also acting urgently to tackle today’s multi-dimensional poverty and injustice.

– It is based on solidarity and social justice, strengthening trust and social ties, and supporting human rights, the rights of workers, indigenous peoples and minorities, and the right to sustainable development.

– It promotes empowerment of MSMEs, social enterprises, and sustainable livelihoods.

– It seeks a fast and fair transition and covers its costs – leaving no-one behind, enabling vulnerable groups to be agents of transition, and innovating in social protection and reskilling.

  1. The Planetary Boundaries Principle

The green economy safeguards, restores and invests in nature.

– An inclusive green economy recognizes and nurtures nature’s diverse values – functional values of providing goods and services that underpin the economy, nature’s cultural values that underpin societies, and nature’s ecological values that underpin all of life itself.

– It acknowledges the limited substitutability of natural capital with other capitals, employing the precautionary principle to avoid loss of critical natural capital and breaching ecological limits.

– It invests in protecting, growing and restoring biodiversity, soil, water, air, and natural systems.

– It is innovative in managing natural systems, informed by their properties such as circularity, and aligning with local community livelihoods based on biodiversity and natural systems.

  1. The Efficiency and Sufficiency Principle

The green economy is geared to support sustainable consumption and production.

– An inclusive green economy is low-carbon, resource-conserving, diverse and circular. It embraces new models of economic development that address the challenge of creating prosperity within planetary boundaries.

– It recognises there must be a significant global shift to limit consumption of natural resources to physically sustainable levels if we are to remain within planetary boundaries.

– It recognizes a ‘social floor’ of basic goods and services consumption that is essential to meet people’s wellbeing and dignity, as well as unacceptable ‘peaks’ of consumption.

– It aligns prices, subsidies and incentives with true costs to society, through mechanisms where the ‘polluter pays’ and/or where benefits accrue to those who deliver inclusive green outcomes.

  1. The Good Governance Principle

The green economy is guided by integrated, accountable and resilient institutions.

– An inclusive green economy is evidence-based – its norms and institutions are interdisciplinary, deploying both sound science and economics along with local knowledge for adaptive strategy.

– It is supported by institutions that are integrated, collaborative and coherent – horizontally across sectors and vertically across governance levels – and with adequate capacity to meet their respective roles in effective, efficient and accountable ways

– It requires public participation, prior informed consent, transparency, social dialogue, democratic accountability, and freedom from vested interests in all institutions – public, private and civil society – so that enlightened leadership is complemented by societal demand.

– It promotes devolved decision-making for local economies and management of natural systems while maintaining strong common, centralized standards, procedures, and compliance systems.

– It builds a financial system with the purpose of delivering wellbeing and sustainability, set up in ways that safely serve the interests of society.

If we are ever to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal, the green economy is a must focus by governmental bodies.

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