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UN unveils roadmap for the green economy

United Nations hopes that by investing $1.3tn (£800bn) a year into ten key sectors can help kick-start a transition towards a green economy, detailed in its new report launched today.

By investing two percent £800bn and backed by forward-looking national and international policies, would grow the global economy at around the same rate if not higher than those forecast, under current economic models.

But without rising risks, shocks, scarcities and crises increasingly inherent in the existing, resource-depleting, high carbon “brown” economy, says the study.

As such, it comprehensively challenges the myth of a trade off between environmental investments and economic growth and instead points to a current “gross misallocation of capital”.

The report sees a Green Economy as not only relevant to more developed economies but as a key catalyst for growth and poverty eradication in developing ones too, where in some cases close to 90 per cent of the GDP of the poor is linked to nature or natural capital such as forests and freshwaters.

The report suggests the funding could be redeployed from existing subsidies, which is currently between one and two percent of global GDP, which often perpetuate unsustainable resources use in areas such as fossil fuels, agriculture, including pesticide subsidies, water and fisheries.

Ten areas targeted to kick-start the green economy:

  • £65bn for greening agriculture, including on small-holder farms
  • £82bn in greening the building sector by improving energy efficiency
  • £220bn in greening energy supply
  • £67bn on waste, including recycling
  • £67bn for greening fisheries, including reducing the capacity of the world’s fleets.
  • £9bn in greening forestry with important knock-on benefits for combating climate change.
  • £45bn in greening industry, including manufacturing.
  • £82bn on greening the tourism sector
  • £115bn on greening transport.
  • £67bn on the water sector, including addressing sanitation.

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