For the past few years, the use of the term “Green Economy” has increased and has, e.g., been used by the UN, heads of state, the EU, and OECD to explain the nexus between sustainability, economics, and the environment.
A transition towards a Green Economy is precisely what is needed to achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals related with climate action, economic growth, justice, and well-being. Creating a sustainable and green economy, more jobs, and a healthy planet for all, where no one is left behind, is the objective of conference Stockholm+50 in June 2022.
What is a green economy?
A green economy is defined as low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. In a green economy, employment and income growth is driven by public and private investment. This is in those economic activities, infrastructure and assets that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, improve energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
A green economy means investments in renewable energy, such as solar power, onshore and offshore wind power, hydrogen, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient homes.
The notion of a green economy does not replace sustainable development, but creates a new focus on the economy, investment, capital and infrastructure, employment and skills and positive social and environmental outcomes.
The four dimensions of green economies
A green economy prioritizes health of the planet and of the people, and regards these as interlinked. Prioritization and implementation of the green initiative also help countries achieve multiple sustainable development goals.
SDG 3: Good health and well-being
Major investments in the energy sector and environmental sector would result in job creation for hundreds of thousands of jobs. The concentration on clean energy and growing wealth all supports the expansion of natural, human, and social capital, thus offering work opportunities for green livelihoods, companies, and organizations. Moreover, the sectorial activities will create potential for training, sustainable infrastructure and education for all people to prosper.
SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
The green economy and its economic and social advantages are supported by evidence. To get a successful green economy, institutions need to be interdisciplinary – deploying science, economics, knowledge across sectors and local know-how. By including the different aspects of communities, a green economy will build a financial system that serve the interests of society by promoting local economies, while maintaining common standards and procedures.
SDG 13: Climate action
A green recovery safeguards, restores and invests in nature; a crucial detail in green economies is climate mitigation and restoration of biodiversity. Due to the limited sustainability of natural capital, recovery and growth of water, soil and natural systems are a high priority. Furthermore, a green economy is strongly linked with circular economy: a model of production and consumption which involves recycling and reusing materials and products for as long as possible.
SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
The green economy is interlinked with the circular economy. Regarding consumption, there ought to be a shift to reduce consumption of natural resources to sustainable levels. An inclusive economy incorporates and embraces modern models of economic development whose objective is to create prosperity within planetary boundaries.
The United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, works with the term Green Economy and encourages implementation of a greener agenda in developing countries. The main areas of their work are focus on green finance, technology and investments, and advocacy of macroeconomic approach to sustainable economic growth through regional, sub-regional and national fora. At last, UNEP provides support to countries in terms of development and mainstreaming of macroeconomic policies to support the transition to a Green Economy. One of the countries is Kenya.
At eSmart Recycling, we understand these urgencies that force us all to participate. That is why, as a social enterprise, we seek to contribute to a future for children and low-income families by recycling and donating computers. To date, children from our community and emerging countries have benefited from our work and our commitment to society and the environment.