Green Growth: Making it Happen

Green Growth: Making it Happen

By Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General

07/02/2012 – Faced with low growth, high unemployment and weakened public finances countries need to pursue new sources of growth to put the global recovery back on track. Green growth can help. With the right policies to encourage innovation and stimulate new markets, it can boost productivity, spur growth and jobs, and change our behaviour as consumers. Green growth can also mobilise revenues in ways that do not undermine the economic recovery, while eliminating wasteful and environmentally harmful spending.

But what is new about green growth? Since the Rio Earth Summit twenty years ago, we have known that green and growth must go together. What is different now? Let me give you a simple answer: green growth is not about replacing sustainable development with a new paradigm. It is instead an approach that can contribute to the successful implementation of sustainable development through concrete policy action by governments and stakeholders. Green growth is a practical and flexible approach for making progress along the economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, while taking full account of the social consequences of greening the growth dynamics of our economies. Green growth strategies focus on ensuring that natural assets can deliver their full economic potential. That includes the provision of basic services – clean air and water – and the resilient biodiversity and ecosystems needed to support food production and human health.

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