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”