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OECD: Green Policies and Economic Growth Go Together
May 25, 2011
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Green growth makes economic as well as environmental sense, and governments should put in place policies that tap into the innovation, investment, and entrepreneurship driving the shift towards a greener economy, the OECD reports. In the natural resource sectors alone, commercial opportunities related to investments in environmental sustainability could run into trillions of dollars by 2050. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) said governments must look to the green economy to find new sources of growth and jobs.

The OECD released a Green Growth Strategy, and a new report, Towards Green Growth, designed to provide a practical framework for governments to boost economic growth and protect the environment.

“This report shows that green and growth can go together,” said the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “With the right policies in place, we can create jobs, increase prosperity, preserve our environment and improve the quality of life. All at the same time.”

OECD said two broad sets of policies are essential elements in a green growth strategy. The first set mutually reinforces economic growth and the conservation of natural capital, including core fiscal and regulatory settings and innovation policies. The second includes policies that provide incentives to use natural resources efficiently and make pollution more expensive.

While replacing natural capital with physical capital is expensive and the infrastructure needed to clean polluted water can be costly, the cost of inaction can be even higher, the OECD said. Green growth now is necessary to prevent further erosion of natural capital, such as increased scarcity of water and other resources, more pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss, all of which can undermine future growth.

Further information on the Green Growth Strategy is available at:
www.oecd.org/greengrowth.

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