The “green economy” is a global trend and a development model for those countries that want to remain competitive and become leaders in the new century. It is already clear that over time, the opportunity to finance “non-green” projects will be increasingly difficult, and hence developing countries with the so-called “brown economy” will fall out of global economic processes.
The green economy is an opportunity to improve the well-being and comfort of people with minimal harm to the environment. Its main goal is a finding of balance between ensuring the basic needs of humankind and preserving environmental stability as far as the present-day population of the planet is responsible “to the future generations.”
It is impossible to expand indefinitely production in a limited space in the conditions of limited resources, so humanity must join forces to preserve our common home. Everything on the Earth’s surface is interconnected. When someone pollutes the air, earning money on it, everyone then breathes this dirty air.
Green economists regard modern economic growth as a misunderstanding because it constantly violates the ecosystem. Green economic growth is much broader than the generally accepted one. In particular, they proposed to take into account the damage to the environment that accompanies economic growth as the losses of national wealth. As growth continues to destroy the environment’s natural capital, development risks increase. If this trend is not curbed, it can lead to a worsening of shortage of water, greater pollution, climate change, and irreversible loss of biodiversity.
Firstly, the “green” economy is aimed at the economical consumption of those resources that are currently subject to depletion (minerals, oil, gas) and the rational use of inexhaustible resources. The green economy is based on clean or “green” technologies and green ethics. This is can be called a “green” mental revolution, which implies a person’s transition from an urbanized habitat to different ecological cities or “green” settlements of an autonomous type.
Naturally, the desire for a “green” economy, a “green” revolution, “green” construction is not a salvation from all the ills of our civilization, though this is one of the possible methods for solving crescent problems.
State’s official documents make different emphases related to the development of the green economy: competition, jobs, sustainable development, and addressing poverty and population growth issues are at the forefront. Karl Burkart defines a green economy as based on six main sectors: renewable energy, sustainable transport, green building, water management, waste management, and land management. However, the scale of the “green” sector of the world economy is still relatively small; it is characterized by exceptionally rapid rates of development.
In a more narrow interpretation, the “green” economy is understood as the production and operation of equipment for controlling and reducing emissions of pollutants, monitoring and forecasting of climate change, and renewable energetics.
Within the framework of the smart city concept, green technologies include the production and use of materials to protect buildings against fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and wind load, and the production of environmentally friendly food, and consumer products without chemical additives. This proves that the main thing in the “green” economy is the social and economic sphere.
If we want to keep progress in the standard of living of the population, we need to find new ways of consumption and even rethink our understanding of progress and measuring it. The growth of the world economy under the existing model of production will inevitably lead to the moment when the damage from the pollution of the surrounding environment will begin to exceed the benefits obtained from economic development. The international community faces ambitious challenges in building a sustainable green economy through the introduction of innovations, although actual actions sometimes boil down to beautiful declarations and slogans.
The methodology of economic development identifies four groups of indicators through which the formation of a “green economy” can serve as an engine of economic growth.
The first group of indicators is the indicators characterizing the potential opportunities for the transition to a “green economy”: increasing the productivity of natural resources and efficient management of human capital.
The second group is indicators of increasing the effectiveness of the system sectors, including energy, construction, the energy efficiency of housing, and communal services.
The third group of factors is an investment in the development of the “green economy”, including the water supply and sewerage system, public transport, focusing on alternative fuel sources, and others.
The fourth group of indicators is the indicators stimulating innovative activity to create a favorable competitive environment through the introduction of innovative standards and regulations.
It is obvious that the world economy transition to a green growth model will require significant efforts for expanding international cooperation. The United Nations Environment Program is the main body of the United Nations in the field of the environment. Its purpose is to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in the field of conservation of the Environment, which is steadily advocating the protection of the natural environment of the globe.
The main shortcoming underlying the basic documents of UNEP “Towards a green economy” is their inability to take into account unequal power relations existing in the modern world and the interests that play in the activities of this global economic system. In modern conditions, the list of recommendations and political proposals that the UNEP calls on the governments of the world to negotiate and implement is nothing more than the naïve expression of very good intentions, without any possibility of altering the current course of the planet. Encouraging innovation activity on a global scale can be the relevant changes in competition and trade policies, financial incentives for “green” innovations, and control over the use of natural resources. It is necessary to ensure that products related to environmental pollution or overspending on energy, water, and other resources become unprofitable. Then companies investing significant funds in “green” technologies will be able to receive from this a real dividend due to the advantage over competitors in the cost of the final product.