Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A 'Green New Deal' can save the world's economy,

A 'Green New Deal' can save the world's economy, says UN

"Top economists and United Nations leaders are working on a "Green New Deal" to create millions of jobs, revive the world economy, slash poverty and avert environmental disaster, as the financial markets plunge into their deepest crisis since the Great Depression.

The ambitious plan – the start of which will be formally launched in London next week - will call on world leaders, including the new US President, to promote a massive redirection of investment away from the speculation that has caused the bursting “financial and housing bubbles” and into job-creating programmes to restore the natural systems that underpin the world economy.

It aims to convince them that, far from restricting growth, healing the global environment will be a desperately -needed driving force behind it.

It envisages basing recovery on providing work for the poor, as well as reform of financial practices, after a crash brought on by unregulated excesses of the free market and the banking system.

Switching direction and concentrating on 'green growth', he says, will not only prevent such catastrophes, but rescue the world's finances. “The new, green economy would provide a new engine of growth, putting the world on the road to prosperity again. This is about growing the world economy in a more intelligent, sustainable way.

“The 20th century economy, now in such crisis, was driven by financial capital. The 21st century one is going to have to be based on developing the world's natural capital to provide the lasting jobs and wealth that are needed, particularly for the poorest people on the planet”

Achim Steiner, UNEP's Executive Director, says for example, that it makes more sense to invest in preserving forests, peatlands and soils, which naturally absorb carbon dioxide, than destroying them and then developing expensive technology to do the job".

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World

“Real potential, formidable challenges”

The report “Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World” produced in the framework of the UNEP/ILO/IOE/ITUC Green Jobs Initiative assembles evidence - quantitative and conceptual - on existing green jobs.

The report Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World is the first comprehensive and authoritative report which provides an overview of the complexity and policy relevance of global environmental challenges —climate change— and employment.

It gathers data on employment on different sectors —renewable energy, energy efficiency in buildings, sustainable transportation, and organic agriculture— and draws conclusions and recommendations for policy makers, business and industry, workers and trade unions in the context of the transition towards a low-carbon economy, which may yield a real potential, and yet is faced with formidable challenges

The pace of green job creation is likely to accelerate in the years ahead. A global transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy can create large numbers of green jobs across many sectors of the economy, and indeed can become an engine of development. Current green job creation is taking place in both the rich countries and in some of the major developing economies.

The report emphasises the need for increased investment to create green jobs, facilitate the just transition from traditional to low-carbon economy, and further analyses the major shifts in employments and skills patterns

The Report makes an important contribution to the wider economic, social and environmental research communities and NGOs and others, including local authorities interested in these issues.

The report commissioned and funded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was produced by the Worldwatch Institute, with technical assistance from the Cornell University Global Labour Institute.

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Policy messages and main findings for decision makers
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Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World”

Launch of the report
24 September 2008,
New York