Green Economy

Submitted by Arthur Dahl on 5. June 2011 - 20:09
e-learning centre on sustainable development


Heading: Economics    Topic: Green Economy

While proposals for more environmental economics have been around for some time, the collapse of the financial system in 2007-2008 brought calls that the funds being injected into the economy be used to create a new "green economy" to replace the old economy of unsustainable consumption. The green economy can be defined as an economic system that preserves and restores ecosystems, the backbones of economic and social wellbeing and essential for poverty reduction, while simultaneously creating new industries and employment. Environmental industries using clean and efficient technologies, and sustainable agriculture serve as major engines of wealth and job creation and poverty reduction.

UNEP (2009) has identified the priority green economic sectors as:
- clean and efficient technologies, including renewable energy technologies and rural energy access;
- biodiversity-based businesses, including agriculture, forestry, marine, nature-based tourism, etc.;
- ecological infrastructure, including nature reserves, protected areas, watersheds, etc.;
- chemicals and waste management, including waste reduction, recycling and reuse; and
- low carbon cities, buildings and transport.

Such an alternative economy would need to be more altruistic and cooperative, create adequate employment, and give major emphasis to reducing poverty in the world.


UNEP. 2009. GC/GMEF 25th Regular Session, Ministerial Consultations, Background Paper on Theme I, Globalization and the Environment, "Global Crises: National Chaos?" 10 p.

Article last updated 9 February 2009

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Last updated 30 August 2010