The green economy is a new engine of growth; it is built on an innovative system of economic activities that enhance social well-being, nurture flourishing natural environments and yield competitive yet responsible business growth. Stimulating transformation, the green economy encourages and facilitates progress towards the three pillars of sustainable development; people, planet and profit.
More than 60 countries around the world have started the journey towards the green economy, with many seeking to achieve their ambitions within a few decades. Governments pioneering this transition are doing away with the traditional line of thought that there is an inevitable trade-off between economic progress and environmental sustainability, instead showing significant opportunity for investment, growth and security.
Mechanisms to deliver the green economy, such as renewable energy, environments conducive to green business and technology, and the education of a skilled and agile workforce are simultaneously drivers and outcomes of the transition, overlapping and catalyzing the further development of each other.
Low, middle and high skilled job creation is just one near-term benefit of the transition towards a green economy. Other opportunities available to governments include the improved health and well-being of the population, leading to higher levels of productivity and reducing the costs of health care, the overarching effect being a thriving economy and one attractive to investment opportunities.
The clean or renewable energy sector is a vehicle for growth and innovation within all industries. Investing in clean energy leads not only to improved energy security and greater environmental and public health, but research confirms additional near-term benefits; cleaner technology and associated investment opportunities create the fastest job growth opportunities.
Fostering an environment for the development of entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through various policy mechanisms, yields a nimble, agile and resilient business sector.
The availability of viable clean energy supplies and an educated and skilled workforce to tap into provides extensive opportunities for the business environment to innovate and diversify which, in effect, further amplifies the drivers.
A forward-thinking and integrated approach to realizing economic transformation, resource efficiency and social progress and well-being will facilitate the development of processes needed to stimulate and maintain innovation. This research document seeks to shed light on the approaches that can yield progress towards the green economy, and the methods of measurement for assessing the transition.