One of the twin themes of the Rio+20 conference, Green Economy in the context of sustainable
development and poverty eradication, has become a topic of debate and dialogue, and is
increasingly perceived as a vehicle to achieving the social, economic and environmental
goals and objectives.
UNEP defines a Green Economy as one that results in "improved human well-being and
social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities".
In this light, Green Economy effectively encompasses within itself the economical,
socio-political and environmental aspects of development. In its simplest expression,
a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and
The UNEP-led Green Economy Initiative was launched in late 2008. Its objective is to
provide the analysis and policy support for investing in green sectors and in greening
environmentally unfriendly sectors.
A major UNEP contribution to the Rio+20 preparatory process was the report Towards a
Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, released in November 2011.
Leading up to the conference, World Environment Day will be celebrated on June 5th
in Brazil a few weeks before Rio+20 and fill focus on the theme Green Economy: Does
it include you? This year’s World Environment Day celebrations will help to raise
awareness on the serious impacts of carrying on with business as usual. Through
engaging governments in action and spreading the word on the importance of a
Green Economy, this collective effort aims to preserve nature, while
achieving growth, and encourage sustainable development.
Rio+20 will offer an opportunity to discuss pathways and policies towards an
economy that delivers economic progress and generates decent employment,
but without pushing humanity through planetary boundaries.
For more information on the Green Economy, please visit the website at http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy