Green Economy: Does it include YOU?The 2012 theme for World Environment Day was Green Economy: Does it include you? There were two components to this theme and the first tackled the subject of the Green Economy. The UN Environment Programme defines the Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
Practically speaking, a Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments need to be catalyzed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes.
The second part of the theme questioned what this all meant for individuals. The idea was if the Green Economy is about social equity and inclusiveness then technically it is all about you! The question therefore asked one to find out more about the Green Economy and assess whether, in their country, they were being included in it.
About the host country
The 2012 host country for World Environment Day was Brazil, a country with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Brazil had previously hosted WED in 1992, on the eve of the first Earth Summit, when world leaders, government officials and international organizations met to refocus, recalibrate and deliver a route map towards sustainable development.
According to UNEP's report -'Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication', the country is also at the forefront of building an economy that includes recycling and renewable energy and the generation of green jobs. In this section, we spotlight the inspiring Green Economy case studies from the burgeoning Latin American nation.