(CPV) - The World Bank on June 8 released Inclusive Green Growth: The pathway to sustainable development, claiming that government should think green when pursing growth policies, which can be inclusive, efficient, affordable and above all necessary to sustain economic expansion in years ahead.
Discussed at the Green Growth seminar in Hanoi, the report lays out an analytical framework that factors atmospheric, land and marine system limitations into plans for economic growth needed to further reduce poverty.
It debunks the myth that a green growth approach is a luxury most countries cannot afford – pointing instead to political barriers, entrenched behaviors and a lack of appropriate financing instruments as the chief obstacles.
Photo for illustration. (Source: http://tietkiemnangluong.com.vn)
Truly remarkable gains have been made in health and social welfare since the 1992 World Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yet too often progress has resulted in environmental degradation and resource depletion.
“Decisions made today will commit countries to growth patterns that may or may not be sustainable in the future. Great care must be taken to ensure that cities and roads, factories and farms are designed and regulated in a way that raises standards of living while efficiently harnessing natural, human and financial capital”, said Ms Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for sustainable development.
The report challenges governments to change their approach to growth policies, better measuring not only what is being produced, but what is being used up and polluted in the process. It asserts that assigning value to farmland, minerals, rivers, oceans, forests and biodiversity, and awarding property rights, will offer governments, industry and individuals sufficient incentive to manage them in an efficient, inclusive and sustainable manner.
The report emphasizes five main points:
* Greening growth is necessary, efficient and affordable – it is critical to achieving sustainable development.
* Political barriers, entrenched behaviors and norms, and a lack of financing instruments are the chief obstacles to greening growth. Green growth must focus on the policies and investments that need to be made within the next 5-10 years – to avoid getting locked into unsustainable paths, damaging policy reversals and costly public health consequences.
* Progress requires multi-disciplinary solutions, blending economics, political science, and social psychology – to tackle political economy constraints, overcome deeply entrenched behaviors and social norms and develop the needed financing tools.
* Green growth is neither monolithic nor static – strategies will vary across countries, reflecting local contexts, preferences and resource bases. All countries, rich and poor, have opportunities to green their growth without slowing it.
* Green growth is not inherently inclusive, but can be designed to be so. While better environmental performance will generally benefit the poorest and most vulnerable, green growth policies must be carefully designed to maximize benefits and minimize costs for them, particularly during the transition.
The World Bank strongly supports incorporating natural capital into national accounts and will be seeking country commitments at the Rio+20 Summit next month./.