The World Bank on Wednesday released a report urging governments to think green when pursing growth policies because it is efficient, affordable and above all necessary to sustain economic expansion in years ahead.
Launched at the Global Green Growth Summit in Seoul, �Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development�, lays out an analytical framework that factors atmospheric, land and marine system limitations into plans for economic growth needed to further reduce poverty.
The report debunks the myth that a green growth approach is a luxury most countries cannot afford, pointing instead to political barriers, entrenched behaviors and a lack of appropriate financing instruments as the chief obstacles.
"Truly remarkable gains have been made in health and social welfare since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yet too often progress has resulted in environmental degradation and resource depletion," said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development.
"Decisions made today will commit countries to growth patterns that may or may not be sustainable in the future. Great care must be taken to ensure that cities and roads, factories and farms are designed and regulated in a way that raises standards of living while efficiently harnessing natural, human and financial capital."
The report challenges governments to change their approach to growth policies, better measuring not only what is being produced, but what is being used up and polluted in the process.
It asserts that assigning value to farmland, minerals, rivers, oceans, forests and biodiversity, and awarding property rights; will offer governments, industry and individuals sufficient incentive to manage them in an efficient, inclusive and sustainable manner.
The World Bank strongly supports incorporating natural capital into national accounts and will be seeking country commitments at the United Nations Rio+20 Summit in Brazil next month.
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