Investing in greener economy could spur growth
Channeling 2 percent, or $1.3 trillion, of global gross domestic product into greening sectors such as construction, energy and fishing could start a move toward a low-carbon world, a report launched on Monday said.
The investment would expand the global economy at the same rate, if not higher, as under present economic policies, said the report by the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP).
"Investing 2 per cent of global GDP into 10 key sectors can kick-start a transition toward a low-carbon world," the Nairobi-based agency said in a statement.
"The sum, currently amounting to an average of around $1.3 trillion a year 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."
UNEP's Executive Director Achim Steiner said in the statement: "With 2.5 billion people living on less than two dollars a day and with more than two billion people being added to the global population by 2050, it is clear that we must continue to develop and grow our economies.
"But this development cannot come at the expense of the very life support systems on land, in the oceans or in our atmosphere."
Agriculture, buildings, energy supply, fisheries, forestry, industry, tourism, transport, waste management and water are sectors that could do with more greening, the report said.
Buildings are the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases because of inefficient heating in offices and homes, according to the study entitled "Toward a Green Economy."