The Green Economy Coalition (GEC) has analyzed 18 government sumissions to the “Zero Draft” text (The Compilation Document) for the upcoming Rio+20 conference in June this year (UN Conference on Sustainable Development, UNCSD). The aim of the analysis is to “better understand how governments are responding to the concept of green economy in their different economic and social contexts.”
The analysis report, titled “Green Economy: ‘Everyone’s talking about it'”, notes that significant majority of governments are actively engaging with the concept of a green economy and that there already exist various policies and initiatives that could be deemed green economy (from the view of GEC). However, the report also shows that the definition and meaning of the term “green economy” varies considerably among the governmental submissions, due to its interpretation along the lines of national priorities.
In general, nearly all governments agree that Green Economy is a means and opportunity for achieving sustainable development and must tackle poverty. However, developed countries focus mostly on resource efficiency, job creation and competitiveness, while developing countries highlight the need for poverty eradication and equity and BRICS (Brazil, Russian Federation, India and China) see Green Economy as a tool for shifting the production and consumption patterns of the industrialized countries, as well as for tackling poverty.
The GEC analysis also identified some of the most common practical themes emerging from the submissions, including:
- Sustainable Development Goals
- Alternative metrics to GDP
- Explicit focus on job creating mechanisms
- Focus on technology transfer and Intellectual Property rights
- Need for natural capital to be valued in economic decision-making, and
- Renewed framework for sustainable consumption and production.
The Coalition has also noted absence of some anticipated practical themes, such as Natural capital management schemes, Global financial market reform, and Explicit proposal for how to finance the transition at both the national and international level.