The Green Economy according to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), is the improvement of the well-being of human, social equity to reduce the risks to the environment. This means that a Green economy means having less carbon dioxide and pollution in the environment. It is the duty of both the public and private investments to enhance green economy initiatives. The green economy is achieved through policy reform and regulation of environmental changes. The process of transitioning to a Green Economy means that the tradeoffs between economic growth and gains in environmental utility and social inclusiveness. This paper shall discuss the concept of a Green economy identifying the regional initiatives to foster sustainable developments.
According to UNEP (2011), the green economy term was first coined by a group of environmental economists for the United Kingdom government in a 1989 pioneering report entitled “Blueprint for a Green Economy.” While the first blueprint reports theme was that economics should and can come to the assistance of the policies of the environment. The developments spread the green economy message to other global problems such as loss of resources in the developing world, tropical deforestation, ozone depletion, and climate change. The green economy concept was again revived in 2008 in the discussion of the policy response to several global crises. For instance, in the financial crisis context, global recession was a concern and UNEP was at the forefront in championing the “green stimulus packages” idea and determined particular areas where public investment on a large scale could initiate a green economy (UNEP 2011). This motivated many governments to execute important green stimulus packages as mechanisms of their efforts to the recovery of their economies.
A green economy does not replace the concept of sustainable development they go hand in hand. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly held the Rio Summit that celebrated the first Rio Summit. Among the agendas on the Rio, Summit included a Green economy for sustainable development and eradication of poverty. Sustainable development, therefore, in the form of a development meeting the needs of the current generation without affecting the capability of the generations in the future in meeting their needs (UNEP 2011).
Trade is one of the sustainable development and green economy initiatives. Through trade, there is the facilitation of the exchange of goods and services that are environmentally friendly, that generates more economic opportunities and employment that results in poverty reduction. The trade also affects sustainable development if managed poorly. Trade can result in environmental degradation, misuses of resources hindering the green economy, and sustainable development policies. How trade affects the green economy, and sustainable development depends on the trade policies and the available institutional infrastructure. Trade offers several opportunities, for example through agriculture, most of the large-scale organic farming takes place in the developing countries while the consumption is in developed countries.
Another sustainable development initiative is centered on encouraging innovation. The innovation policies are regarding direct investments by the government that generates new forms of capital. According to UNEP Green, economic initiatives should result in the improvement of the well-being of all human beings. Through direct health care sector. The act of patenting medical innovation, policy shifts the economy towards topics like climate change. Green economy policies should be aimed at looking into trading systems that will encourage innovation, environmental conservation, and economic growth. In 2011, UNEP held the Designing economy workshop in Geneva. Also, the organization is supporting 36 countries in the creation of the Environmental Technology facilities that carry out case studies to determine countries that are in need (UNEP 2011).
The eco-system determines the sustainable livelihood of human beings. Sustainable initiatives, therefore, are targeted at planting more trees to conserve catchment areas. Planting trees mean that there is less carbon in the environment resulting in less pollution. Planting trees like the mangroves in coastal regions prevent environmental degradation and protect the coastal residents from Tsunamis and storms. Animals are also part of the environment and for instance; coral reefs provide breeding grounds for sea animals. The Larger portion of the world ecosystem has been destroyed by human activities. Sustainable development of the ecosystem, provide ideas for cost-saving and lower-cost opportunities for business. The Global Environmental Facility sponsors the ecosystem conservation initiative. Here tools that support sustainable development initiatives decision-making are developed. Additionally, the UNEP hosts the Economics of Ecosystem diversity initiative that emphasizes the benefits of biodiversity and the effect of ecosystem degradation. Some other initiatives are targeted t reducing deforestation and encourage the planting of trees (UNEP 2011).
In development for these countries. This is particularly true of the developing countries, most of the population is that of unemployed persons. The creation of decent and meaningful employment is challenging for most policymakers. The Intentional Labor Organization predicts that in ten years the world’s population would require six hundred million jobs. More jobs will originate from the building of more industries. Green economy and sustainable development policies are at the center of employment. According to UNEP green economy and sustainable development is only achievable if people are employed. Since the green economy involves the use of technology and infrastructure more jobs are likely to be lost. However, additional employment opportunities can only be realized if the Labor laws facilitate the relocation of labor. UNEP thinks that the green economy and business compete for the creation of more employment opportunities. Creation of Green Jobs is one of the areas UNEP is focusing on s one of the initiatives of sustainable development (UNEP 2011).
Achievement of global health is one of the initiatives of sustainable development. Most of the world’s diseases are associated with environmental hazards. The diseases cause the deaths of over ten million people per year; this, however, can be prevented. Good infrastructure, development of efficient transportation systems, and proper land management can reduce cardiovascular, respiratory infections, cancer, and diseases caused by the use of unclean water. In Africa for instance, UNEP has collaborated with the World Health Organization in implementing the initiatives for greening Africa. Additionally, UNEP has supported solar heater water projects in Barbados. In 2007, free healthcare was given to children that lived close to the Dandora dumpsite in Nairobi, Kenya. In the treatment, it was discovered that the children were exposed to heavy metal poisoning.
Another initiative of sustainable development is metrics and indicators. Green economy and sustainable development are bout measuring the transformation that encourages economic growth. Some of the transformation initiatives include ensuring that there is less production of carbon oxide, recycling of wastes, and ensuring that the ecosystem is sustainable. UNEP has been at the forefront in ensuring that it has an integrated approach to both economic and environmental indicators (UNEP 2011). Through the different engagement with developed countries, it has been able to promote capacity-building efforts.
Sustainable development initiatives are targeted at poverty reduction. The world’s population depends on agriculture for food and provision of employment opportunities. Through sustainable development practices, agricultural yields will double increasing the availability of food, reduction of poverty, and plenty of water for all. Most of the UNEP poverty reduction initiatives are in times to include real-time issues faced by the poor. Poverty levels vary from one country to another. developing countries. For example, in most parts of Asia, the organization has created projects that will reduce the burden on relief (UNEP 2011).
In conclusion, the paper defined the concept of a green economy and identified regional initiatives to foster sustainable development. The green economy has been defined as the improvement of the well-being of human, social equity to reduce the risks to the environment. The concept of green economy has also been identified to have been first coined by a group of environmental economists for the United Kingdom government in a 1989 pioneering report entitled “Blueprint for a Green Economy.” there are several regional initiatives that foster sustainable development as discussed in the essay. The first initiative of a green economy was trade. Trade facilitates the exchange of goods and services that are environmentally friendly and generate more economic opportunities and employment that results in poverty reduction. Another initiative is centered on business cannot sustain long. Hence, they need innovation encouragement. Sustainable ecosystem initiatives are also some of the green economy initiatives where the ecosystem is conserved. The creation of decent and meaningful employment initiatives also forms part of green economy initiatives, especially in developing countries. A green economy and sustainable development are only achievable if people are employed. Since a green economy involves the use of technology and infrastructure. Achievement of global health is one of the initiatives of sustainable development. Lastly, metrics and indicators also form part of the initiatives for green economy and sustainable development