Research Paper 40, July 2011

Risks and Uses of the Green Economy Concept in the Context of Sustainable Development, Poverty and Equity.

There are many challenges and obstacles facing developing countries in moving their economies to more environmentally friendly paths. On one hand this should not prevent the attempt to urgently incorporate environmental elements into economic development.

On the other hand, the various obstacles should be identified and recognised and international cooperation measures should be taken to enable and support the sustainable development efforts. The conditions must be established that make it possible for countries, especially developing countries, to move towards a “green economy.”

The main conditions and dimensions have been recognised in the negotiations that led to Rio 1992, and are well established in the Rio Principles and in Agenda 21. The treatment of the “green economy” in Rio Plus 20 should be consistent with the sustainable development concept, principles and framework, and care should be taken that it does not detract or distract from “sustainable development”.

Thus the “value added” to the Green Economy as contrasted to sustainable development should be identified. Care has to be taken to ensure that the “green economy” term and concept is also understood to include the social, equity and development dimensions, including the need for international provision of finance and technology and accompanying global economic reforms and that the risks of the misuse of the term are adequately addressed.


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