World Environment Day and the Green Economy
June 05 2012
Today is the United Nation’s World Environment Day, being celebrated in thousands of ways in countries all over the world. It is a way to stimulate worldwide awareness of environmental issues, to encourage political attention and action. On a personal level, WED encourages you to get involved, become an agent for change, support sustainability and equitable development, and realise that it is everyone’s responsibility to look after our planet’s well being.
You have the power to make a difference.
People from all over the world are coming together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations. World Environment Day is the UN Environment Programme’s call to action. A recognition of individuals, communities and countries who are making a difference – from planting a tree to stopping the use of plastic bags to reducing the illegal deforestation of the Amazon. Activities take place year round, but today they culminate in a huge celebration of the environment. Why don’t you join in?
The Green Economy
The theme of WED this year is Green Economy: Does it include you? But what is the Green Economy?
The UN Environment Programme defines the Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. I.e., a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
Practically speaking, a Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments need to be catalyzed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes.
But what does all this mean for you? Well, this essentially what the second part of the theme is all about. If the Green Economy is about social equity and inclusiveness then technically it is all about you! The question therefore asks you to find out more about the Green Economy and assess whether, in your country, you are being included in it.
– From the UNEP website
Isn’t it nice, how much the UN cares about everyone.
Of course, it all came about because of the global financial crisis. Running things the way we used to do is clearly no longer an option, so the Green Economy is the UN’s proposal for an alternative – and more sustainable – way of doing business. The UNEP-led Green Economy Initiative is a working mechanism through which a green economy can be achieved, especially through the creation of millions of new ‘green’ jobs. Sounds pretty good to me. Any means by which sustainable economic growth can be achieved should be top of the list for any government. And don’t forget – the implementation of these ideas gives consumers purchasing power by which we can support green industries and initiatives, ultimately leading to a sustainable future.
So get out there and get involved.