A new report launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) states that investing $1.3 trillion, which amounts to about 2% of global GDP, can help produce healthy, "green' economies and significantly reduce poverty. The critical sectors of investment are identified as agriculture, buildings, energy supply, fisheries, forestry, industry including energy efficiency, tourism, transport, waste management, and water. Due to a growing world population where 2.5 billion people survive on less than $2 a day, UNEP argues that it's imperative to sustainably develop global economies and put a greater emphasis on poverty reduction. The "greening" of economies will provide the means of sustainable environmental and economic development, and be a catalyst for ending poverty in poor countries.
UNEP emphasizes that currently, governments worldwide continue to support subsidies that perpetuate "unsustainable resource use" in key areas such as fossil fuels, agriculture and pesticides, water, and fisheries. Areas like these are playing a large role in environmental degradation and global economic inefficiencies, so focusing less on them and more on green economies will provide sustainable growth and increased welfare for people suffering from severe poverty.
These themes of a green economy, which includes sustainable development and poverty reduction, and international environment governance are the two main topics of UNEP's Governing Council session and upcoming 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. This implies that these issues will continue to be very relevant and important in the near future when talking of international development and poverty eradication.
- Brock McNairy
SOURCE: UN News Centre