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Time to unleash the green growth

Issue Date - 23/06/2011
Be it climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, or ecosystem degradation; green economics can weave together these strands. According to ‘TEEB’ report, ecosystem delivers essential services worth $21 to $72 trillion a year while the commercial opportunities in natural resource sector alone could be between $2.1-6.3 trillion by 2050. The implication: green and growth can go hand in hand.

Seeking Competitive Gains
Given the prevailing environmental and economic challenges, countries and corporations have come up with policies and strategies in order to shift towards cleaner and greener business practices along with green innovation. The International Energy Agency (IEA) is of the view that greener business practices will have important economic pay-offs in terms of resource efficiency. IEA estimates that 17% (approximately $46 trillion) increase in energy investment is required globally between 2010 and 2050 to deliver low-carbon energy systems, which will consequently yield a cumulative fuel savings worth $112 trillion. As a competitive factor, companies are seeking competitiveness gains through clean and green technology investment.

Environmetnal Challenges

OECD, in its recent report, states that the impact of economic activity on environmental systems are creating imbalances which are putting economic growth and development at risk. As a matter of fact, existing loss of biodiversity and degradation has already had dramatic consequences for business; soil erosion in Europe is estimated to cost 53 euro per hectare per annum. A 2007 report of the World Bank estimated that the cost of excessive use of groundwater in China was in the range of 0.3% of GDP (the cost fell largely on the agriculture sector). The TEEB 2010 report estimates the annual economic loss caused by introduction of agricultural pests in the US, UK, India, Brazil et al to be more than $100 billion.


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