In 2015, governments agreed to a new set of universally applicable development goals — the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — that expands the scope of internationally agreed development priorities to incorporate the rich tapestry of interconnected social, economic and environmental concerns. To respond to this imperative, development trajectories must be both inclusive and green. Inclusive in that economic dynamism is driven by investments in human capital and social justice, and green in that ecological sustainability and economic resilience together drive economic systems and growth.
Rising to this challenge is perhaps most urgent in the Asian and Pacific region, where future development is at risk due to its over-burdened ecological carrying capacity, resource scarcity and growing populations.
Overview of Green Business: Enabling Policies and Private Sector Examples focuses on the ecological sustainability of economic development and the key role that both governments and the private sector have to play in harnessing its potential for inclusive and sustainable development for all.
Both governments and the private sector are increasingly aware of the convergence between sustainable development and market priorities. Business clearly has a key role to play in delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and governments must set the stage for corporate action at the national and regional levels. The greening of the economy will not occur through market mechanisms alone. Governments now have the opportunity to support the scaling up of business contributions by putting in place policy frameworks that facilitate and incentivize sustainable economic growth.
Government policies that encourage long-term value creation over short-term profit motivations open up space for new forms of collaboration to reduce investor risk and foster ecological innovations. Governments and the private sector must work together to effectuate a shift from brown development models to green economic sustainability.
For each of the proposed goals under the new international development framework, there exists a clear business case for engagement. The private sector is not only a source of financing for these developments but is also a key stakeholder. This dynamic role brings with it opportunities in value creation as well as important responsibilities.
Based on the principles proposed in Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap for Asia and the Pacific published by ESCAP, 1 this publication provides policymakers with an overview of selected policy tools that have been leveraged to support transformation to green sustainable economic development models. Through case studies of government- and private sector-led initiatives from across the region, the following chapters showcase the diversity of measures that can be incorporated into legislative, normative and operational frameworks of the public and private sectors.