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01.10.2021 Feature Article

The green economy – a new growth market

The green economy – a new growth market
01.10.2021 LISTEN

A green economy is defined as, resource efficient, low carbon and socially inclusive. In a green economy, growth in employment and income are motivated by public and private investment into such economic activities, infrastructure and assets that allow reduced carbon emissions and pollution, enhanced energy and resource efficiency, and prevention of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The role of Green Economy, Sustainable Consumption and Production and Resource Efficiency for Sustainable Development:

Sustainable Consumption and Production aims to improve production processes and consumption practices to reduce resource consumption, waste generation and emissions across the full life cycle of processes and products and Resource Efficiency refers to the ways in which resources are used to deliver value to society and aims to reduce the number of resources needed, emissions and waste generated, per unit of product or service. The Green Economy provides a macro-economic approach to sustainable economic growth with a central focus on investments, employment, and skills.

In an emergency, people come together. The planet’s carbon budget is not infinite, and it is being exhausted. Some people have declared green companies are the solution to this problem.

Do we agree with them?

The world needs greener and carbon companies. However, the world cannot form and grow enough new ones in time at the scale and pace required. For the world to meet the Paris agreement goals, we need to go where the emissions are generated.

That give a good reason to transform the energy, and transport industry because they account for 70% of global emissions. That is where greening companies come in.

A greening company is one that is not low carbon today but has the motivation to get there.

They have the scale, the resources, and a reliable plan for change. Greening companies cannot all move at the same rate, but they can all move in the same direction to a meaningful lasting impact to global decarbonisation.

They are part of the solution but for greening companies to change fast enough, support through government green policies, like carbon pricing and investments in infrastructures and technologies are needed.

For that to happen, they need to be transparent, demonstrating their efforts and advancement towards delivery of their objectives and targets.

So, if we’re going to transition, we need electrical vehicles like Tesla – but we need more than Tesla, we need other companies to transition. And, thankfully, that’s what’s happening, with more and more companies and countries setting net zero ambitions.

The world needs an immense, unparalleled, and sustained shift in energy demand and supply, away from fossil fuels and towards low, to get to net zero. That is only feasible if we encourage and include companies that wish to become lower carbon, rather than excluding them.

We need as many of them as possible moving in the same direction – making contributions to global decarbonisation.

And we need a method that is inclusive-The Paris Agreement and other greening initiatives are founded on the reason to be inclusive, no matter the starting point. Under the Paris Agreement currently, chief emitters like Japan, China, and the US – have all pledged allegiance to net zero in the future.

To facilitate a just transition and to avoid immense disruption to people’s lives, we need to support greening companies. We should use green policies – like carbon pricing – to reward greening efforts and disadvantage companies that don’t work towards lower carbon. 

Investors should consider both the greening possibilities and sustainable long-term value that greening companies can offer as part of a balanced portfolio.

The public can also support greening companies by pressing for a faster transition. And by understanding that there cannot be a single standard or single pathway to net zero. And as many pathways as there are, there are just as many ways for companies to contribute.

In return for that support, we should expect greening companies to be transparent and demonstrate their effort and progress towards delivery of their aims and targets.  

  • Greening companies need to set an ambition to get to net zero. 
  • Provide a timeline with interim aims and targets that sets a realistic path to get there. 
  • Disclose a credible business plan that can achieve their targets and aims, while remaining a successful business.
  • Contribute where they can to a just transition using their links into communities as employers, suppliers, and retailers.

Advantages of Green Economy: -

1. Green economy potentially works towards decreasing environmental pollution, and thus improves the quality of soil, water and air and protects environmental well-being.

2. Global warming, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, desertification, resource depletion can gradually be obstructed by implementing Green economy which will automatically save the earth and its animals from destruction as far as possible.

3. Economic growth is also enhanced due to the establishment of new markets for biofuels and renewable energy resources.

4. Establishment of new markets have potential to support international advantages when these new markets will invite funds through exports and increase domestic sales.

5. Creation of more industries means more employment and more employment means more stable society as economically, the people will be secured.

6. Agricultural industries will be able to achieve a dignified place due to the emphasis on green technologies.

7. Innovation needs innovative skills, and this will invite establishment of more educational institutions which will ultimately increase the scopes for the students.

Disadvantages of Green Economy: -

1. Transition to Green economy is time consuming and will require constant vigilance and efforts, though the effort and time engaged in the process have a worthy outcome.

2. Initially the costs of the goods can be very high because establishment of new green industries and their technologies will involve high expense.

3. Green and environment friendly products are always more costly than the conventional goods.

4. Hard Work, constant effort, extra time, and more highly educated faculties will be demanded for the creation of and gradual increase in efficiency of new educational disciplines.

5. New Inventions and discoveries will involve extensive research which will cost large amount of investment by the government.

6. Huge Investments require huge funds which may be raised by increasing tax from the citizens.

7. During the initial years of development for green economy, the intake of bribe by the dishonest authorities may increase.

Therefore, there are many challenges in applying Green Economy that must be addressed.

By Philip Kyeremanteng MSc MSEE MCIWEM CSci


References:


  1. https://www2.lseg.com/sustainablefinance/greenequities
  2. https://sustainableearth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42055-020-00029-y
  3. https://www.brite-green.co.uk/index.php/what-we-do/sustainability-strategy

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