Green economic sectors

A green economy is one that founded on green economic services and industries that provide decent work and stable employment prospects. Our coalition members share their thinking on how to green economic sectors below. To respond to these articles just click on the comment boxes.

April, 2012
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Two pathways to sustainability

Luis Flores-Consumers International

There is general agreement among governments of the urgent need to address the current unsustainable patterns of development. However, as the international negotiation process continues towards the Rio+20 Earth Summit, there is little agreement on how to do it.

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April, 2012
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Transformation: Achieving the impossible?

Dr Aled Jones - Global Sustainability Institute

Unlocking a green economy requires a transformation in everything we do. The urgency of the challenge we face gets greater and greater with every new piece of evidence. Avoiding so called ‘tipping points’ in the Earth’s climate system or going beyond a point of recovery for parts of the bio-system gets closer scrutiny every day – even though, as pointed out by Jay Leno (below), the problem has been bad enough for decades and we have yet to transform our societies in any way that meets the challenge.... Continue reading

February, 2012
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Green economy: new jobs for a new generation?

Guest author - Hanna Thomas - Green Jobs Alliance

Last year, OECD analysis of the labour market emphasised that 'persistently high unemployment could eventually result in discouragement and permanent withdrawal from the labour force, especially among younger and less skilled workers. In at least 10 countries (e.g. the United Kingdom) the share of long-term unemployment has risen significantly … pointing to a significant risk'. (OECD, April 2011)

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February, 2012
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The informal economy - a threat or driver for the Green Economy?

Guest author - Muyeye Chambwera - IIED

Could the informal economy be the route to deliver the ideal of a Green Economy? Given its sheer size, its rapid growth potential and ability to provide livelihoods for the poor, we cannot ignore the informal sector.  A green transition including low carbon growth, appropriate valuation of natural resources and social justice mechanisms must consider the role of the informal economy. If not, our efforts could miss the mark.

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January, 2012
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One Planet Economy Network – A European Example on how to measure what matters

Guest Author - Rachel Brown - WWF UK

As indicated by the Rio 2012 submissions, there is wide agreement among governments and civil society alike that we must learn how to measure what matters. Only then can we shape policies that accommodate the people and the planet. But where do we start? And how do we comprehensively assess the impact of policies on the environment?

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November, 2011
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The green food economy doesn't need to cost the earth

Guest Author - Vicki Hird - WSPA International

The country submissions to the UN Rio+20 compilation document make for interesting reading. Many countries express welcome statements on the need to put sustainable agriculture and sustainable production and consumption issues at the heart of Rio+20 outcomes.

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October, 2011
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In thinking big, don't forget the real drivers of the economy

Helen Marquard - SEED Initiative

Much of the international and national work on the green economy focuses on the policy drivers for stimulating investment in green technologies, creating employment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But actors who can play a central role in making the green economy a reality are small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) because they are the engine of the global economy.

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October, 2011
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The re-invention of consumption

Camila Haddad - Green Economy Coalition

Consumption is certainly a contested topic. In light of the fact that our planet's resources are finite, we are all aware that aggregate levels of consumption urgently have to come down. But it is hard to know where the “cuts” will come from, and in the past individuals have been discouraged to take action both because of the lack of and the overload of information necessary to make conscious choices.  An alternative solution to “sustainable consumption”, which is associated with minor reforms and incremental changes in behaviour, is the reinvention of consumption itself.  That is the promise of collaborative consumption.

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July, 2011
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The role of government wallets

Emily Benson - Green Economy Coalition

When considering our global consumption patterns it is tempting to think only of the hundreds and thousands of consumers out there pounding the high streets and markets for their daily essentials and consumer goods. Taken collectively, the shoppers of Europe or China or the US play a key role in driving the movement and demand for goods around the world; and changing individual purchasing patterns will be key to creating a more sustainable future.  But are we overlooking other big spenders? 

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May, 2011
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Joint report by ILO, UNEP and ITUC explore the possibilities for green jobs

United Nations Environment Programme

Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World assembles evidence— quantitative, anecdotal, and conceptual—for currently existing green jobs in key economic sectors (renewable energy, buildings and construction, transportation, basic industry, agriculture, and forestry) and presents estimates for future green employment.

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