Green Growth and Green Economy

At the global level, green economy was called on by Rio+20 Summit in 2012. Asia and the Pacific have already pioneered the concept of green growth in 2005. Green growth – as a pre-requisite for building a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty reduction – was brought into the context of intergovernmental discussions for the first time at the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development (MCED) in Asia and the Pacific held in 2005 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The meeting issued the Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Development, which adopted green growth as strategy for achieving sustainable development. Green growth, or environmentally sustainable economic growth as defined by the Ministerial Declaration at MCED 5, is a strategy of sustaining economic growth and job creation necessary to reduce poverty in the face of worsening resource constraints and climate crisis.

As the adverse impacts of conventional economic growth paradigm of maximizing short term GDP by exploiting human and natural capital are clearly shown by the widening income gap, rising unemployment and ecological crisis such as climate change, a growth paradigm that invests in human and natural capital to turn trade-off between 3 dimensions of sustainable development into synergy is critical in achieving sustainable development. Green growth is a strategy of investing in natural capital, thus making “Green” as driver of economic growth that is ecologically sustainable. However, as there is no guarantee that the gains of green growth can be evenly distributed, green growth has to be complemented by inclusive policies to make sure the gains are evenly distributed. Promotion of an economic growth that fosters low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially-inclusive development, is a key focus of the secretariat’s research and analytical work, policy advocacy, and capacity development activity.