From: Reuters
Published February 8, 2008 08:04 AM

Age of "green economics" is upon us: U.N.'s Ban

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday the world is on the cusp of "the age of green economics" and called on nations to cooperate to fight global warming and promote the transformation.

"With the right financial incentives and a global framework, we can steer economic growth in a low-carbon direction," Ban said in remarks prepared for delivery to a Chicago business group.

Ban, who has made the environment a centerpiece of his year-long leadership of the U.N., urged the United States and other countries to partner with the "world's only truly global institution" to combat such scourges as climate change, terrorism and infectious diseases.

"No nation, alone, can deal with such problems," Ban said. "Operating effectively in today's world requires partnership. It requires co-operation, engagement and dialogue -- as well as global rules."

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Three-quarters of Americans in surveys believe the United Nations should play a larger role in the world, he said, and a similar proportion say U.S. foreign policy should be coordinated with the international body.

The United States is the biggest single funder of the United Nations though the body has been an object of frequent criticism, particularly from Republicans, for how it is run and for the perception it impedes U.S. goals.

Ban said global investment in green energy is projected to hit $1.9 trillion by 2020, an indication of an economic shift that will rival the industrial revolution and the technology revolution of the past two centuries.

"We're now on the threshold of another (transformation) -- the age of green economics," Ban said.

"Businesspeople in so many parts of the world are demanding clear and consistent policies on climate change -- global policies for a global problem," he said.

(Reporting by Andrew Stern; editing by Stuart Grudgings)

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