No future in the “brown” economic system driven by fossil fuel energy and the serial depletion and degradation of natural resources and ecosystems
By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Feb 23, 2011 (IPS)
Growth-obsessed markets and governments are pillaging the planet and it must stop, a new U.N. report warns.
The present “brown” economic system driven by fossil fuel energy and the serial depletion and degradation of natural resources and ecosystems has no future and must be replaced by a green economy, says the Green Economy report launched in Nairobi, Kenya this week by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Investing just two percent of the global economy into a few key sectors will kick-start a transition towards a low- carbon, resource-efficient economy, the report says. With that relatively small investment, many of the world’s biggest challenges – climate change, poverty, hunger, jobs, sanitation, energy, food – could be successfully met within two generations.
“The Green Economy provides a vital part of the answer of how to keep humanity’s ecological footprint within planetary boundaries,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director.
“It aims to link the environmental imperatives for changing course to economic and social outcomes,” Steiner said.
The report documents that a green, low-carbon, resource- efficient economy will be at least as prosperous as the old brown economy. Better still, a green economy will not have the inherent risks, shocks, scarcities and crises of the resource-depleting, high carbon ‘brown’ economy, it says. Continue reading