(Online Course) Essay Writing Skills Improvement Programme: Essays on Science – Growth for all with Sustainable Use Of Resources

Part D – Essays on Science – Tech, Environmental &
Ecological issues

Growth for all with Sustainable Use Of
Resources

Today the main challenge in front of international community
is to sustain and accelerates the process of poverty eradication and ensure food
and energy security, particularly to developing countries while shifting
gradually to a Green Economy. A green economy approach to development holds the
potential to achieve greater convergence between economic and environmental
objectives. Agriculture plays a critical role in determining food, water,
ecological and livelihood security. Integrating the strategies and policies for
a green economy into agriculture has to proceed with an absolute imperative of
ensuring these and not forgetting the differentiated needs of subsistence
agriculture and market-oriented crops. Also, transitioning to a greener model of
agriculture will depend on the expeditious provision of green technologies and
financial support to developing countries for productivity enhancement, improved
resilience and diversification of production systems. Sustainable development
and management of agriculture would benefit from sharing of best practices
including farm and nonfarm development, improved post-harvest management,
integration of supply chains and strengthening of public distribution systems.
Eradicating poverty is an indispensible requirement for sustainable development.
A major cause aggravating poverty is the unsustainable pattern of consumption
and production. Poverty eradication remains an overriding objective of
governments in developing countries, and efforts to build green economies should
contribute substantially to realizing that objective. Integrating green economy
strategies and policies into poverty eradication, food security and energy
security is an imperative for sustainable development. Food security and access
to affordable clean energy are both crucial to eradicating poverty and promoting
social development. The issue of energy security and universal energy access is
intricately linked with economic development and growth, and rising energy needs
to meet it.

Energy poverty coexists with inefficient energy use in much
of the world, which given continued heavy dependence on fossil fuels has been a
major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Understanding the flexibility or
lack of flexibility of each country to change this energy mix and devising
innovative methods to secure energy security are the need of the hour without
compromising on the need for high economic growth to meet the aspirations of the
people, especially in developing countries. Energy security is a multi-faceted
concept. In the current context, the primary focus is on poor people’s securing
adequate energy supplies to raise their living standards, including through
improved income generation, health and education. Renewable energy should be
considered as an integral part of the solution to the energy needs of the poor,
but that will only be feasible if it is
affordable and technologically accessible. As affordability is a function in
part of large-scale deployment and learning, the strategy to address energy
poverty needs to be linked to a broader alternative energy strategy as part of a
green economy. With respect to energy security, rural energy access remains
seriously deficient in many developing countries, with well over a billion
people lacking access to electricity and clean cooking and heating fuels. At the
same time, even in urban areas, electricity is often underprovided and
unreliable, especially for urban poor communities. This exacerbates poverty and
closes off escape routes by limiting income generation opportunities as well as
educational opportunities especially for girls.


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What is Green Economy?

A green economy is typically understood as an economic system
that is compatible with the natural environment, is environmentally friendly, is
ecological, and for many groups, is also socially just. These attributes are the
conditions that must be imposed on an economy from the perspective of many green
economy advocates. This conventional concept of a green economy may be
alternatively described as “the greening of an economy”. Some fundamental
criteria for meeting these conditions have been established since Rio, such as
using renewable resources within their regenerative capacity, making up for the
loss of nonrenewable resources by creating their renewable substitutes, limiting
pollution within the sink functions of nature, and maintaining ecosystem
stability and resilience. A Green Economy is a system of economic activities
related to the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services
that results in improved human well-being over the long term, whilst not
exposing future generations to significant environmental risks and ecological
scarcities. Conditions for social justice may include: 1) not compromising
future generations’ capability to meet their needs; 2) the rights of poor
countries and poor people to development andthe obligations of rich countries
and rich people to changing their excessive consumption levels; 3) equal
treatment of women in access to resources and opportunities; and 4) ensuring
decent labor conditions. A green economy is one that results in improved human
well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks
and ecological scarcities. A green economy is a economy or economic development
model based on sustainable development and a knowledge of ecological
economics.Its most distinguishing feature from prior economic regimes is direct
valuation of natural capital and ecological services as having economics value
and a full cost accounting regime in which costs externalized onto society via
ecosystems are reliably traced back to, and accounted for as liabilities of, the
entity that does the harm or neglects an asset. Green Economy defined by Karl
Burkart is based on six main sectors,which are as follows:

  • Renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, marine
    including wave, biogas, and fuel cell)

  • Green buildings (green retrofits for energy and water
    efficiency, residential and commercial assessment; green products and
    materials, and LEED construction)

  • Clean transportation (alternative fuels, public transit,
    hybrid and electric vehicles, cars haring and car pooling programs)

  • Water management (Water reclamation, grey water and
    rainwater systems, low water landscaping, water purification, storm water
    management)

  • Waste management (recycling, municipal solid waste
    salvage, brownfield land remediation, Superfund cleanup, sustainable
    packaging)

  • Land management (organic agriculture, habitat
    conservation and restoration; urban forestry and parks, reforestation and
    afforestation and soil stabilization)

UNEP Green Economy Initiative (GEI)

The Green Economy Initiative launched by the United Nations
Environment Programme in October 2008 is aimed at seizing the opportunities this
modern concept of a green economy has to offer. It seeks to accomplish two
tasks. First, it tries to make a “beyond-anecdotal” macroeconomic case for
investing in sectors that produce environmentally friendly or environmentally
enhancing products and services (“green investment”). By a “macroeconomic case”,
it mainly refers to the contribution of green investment to output and job
growth. Second, the initiative tries to provide guidance on how to boost
pro-poor green investment. The goal is to encourage and enable policymakers to
support increased green investment from both the public and private sectors. The
UNEP GEI activities include providing advisory services to countries interested
in greening their economies; producing research products, such as The Green
Economy Report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) series of
reports, and the Green Jobs Report; and engaging partners to effectively promote
and implement green economy strategies.

Concept of Inclusive Growth

Rapid and sustained poverty reduction requires inclusive
growth that allows people to contribute to and benefit from economic growth.
Inclusive Growth refers both to the pace and pattern of growth, which are
considered interlinked, and therefore in need to be addressed together.
Inclusive growth by its very definition implies an equitable allocation of
resources with benefits accruing to every section of society, which is a utopian
concept. But the allocation of resources must be focused on the indented short
and long terms benefits and economic linkages at large and not just equitable
mathematically on some regional and population criteria. Utopia it is because it
dreams of an ideal state which we all strive towards. The inclusive growth
approach takes a longer term perspective as the focus is on productive
employment rather than on direct income redistribution, as a means of increasing
incomes for excluded groups. The inclusive growth definition is in line with the
absolute definition of pro-poor growth, but not the relative definition. By
focusing on inequality, the relative definition could lead to sub-optimal
outcomes for both poor and non-poor households. Inclusive growth focuses on
exante analysis of sources of, and constraints to sustained, high growth, and
not only on one group the poor.

Key components of Inclusive Growth (IG) should be as
follows:-

• IG focuses on economic growth which is a necessary and
crucial condition for poverty reduction.

• IG adopts a long term perspective and is concerned with
sustained growth. (i) For growth to be sustained in the long run, it should be
broadbased across sectors. (ii) It should also be inclusive of the large part of
the country’s labor force, where inclusiveness refers to equality of opportunity
in terms of access to markets, resources and unbiased regulatory environment for
businesses and individuals.

• IG focuses on both the pace and pattern of growth.

• IG focuses on productive employment rather than income
redistribution.

• IG has not only the firm, but also the individual as the
subject of analysis.

• IG is in linewith the absolute definition of pro-poor
growth, not the relative one. There are important lessons to learn from this
approach including that development policy is country- specific, may involve
just a few reforms that can be optimally sequenced to relax binding constraints,
and it may lead to large positive welfare impacts. The main instrument for a
sustainable and inclusive growth is assumed to be productive employment. The
ability of individuals to be productively employed depends on the opportunities
to make full use of available resources as the economy evolves over time The
analysis distinguishes between self or wage-employed, and further looks at
employment by sector, size of firm, rural/urban, formal/informal, and other.The
inclusive growth approach takes a longer term perspective. With this longer term
perspective, it is important to recognize the time lag between reforms and
outcomes. Inclusive growth is about raising the pace of growth and enlarging the
size of the economy, while leveling the playing field for investment and
increasing productive employment opportunities. Policies for inclusive growth
are an important component of any government strategy for sustainable growth and
the frameworks for inclusive growth analytics are eclectic in spirit.

Delhi Ministerial Dialogue, 2011

The Ministerial Dialogue on “Green Economy and Inclusive
Growth” has taken place in New Delhi on 3-4 October. The event, organized by UN
DESA and the Indian Government, is focusing on sustainable development
initiatives in the lead up to next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable
Development in Rio de Janeiro. The issues addressed at the two-day 2011 Delhi
Ministerial Dialogue on ‘Green Economy and Inclusive Growth’ include sustainable
management of sectors like agriculture, industry, energy and transport, urgent
adoption of sustainable life styles and consumption patterns through reduction
in per capita ecological footprint, appropriate population policies, equity
concerns, poverty eradication and developmental imperatives. Designed properly,
green economy policies and programmes can directly contribute to poverty
eradication. The Delhi Dialogue is a step forward in preparations for the UNCSD,
also known as Rio+20, have taken place in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It aimed to provide a platform for international deliberations on the
integration of green economy architecture and global challenges of poverty
eradication, food security, and energy security. Eradicating poverty is an
indispensible requirement for sustainable development. A major cause aggravating
poverty is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production. The Delhi
Dialogue will be an opportunity for high level government officials and UN
agencies to explore in depth the linkages of a green economy for poverty
eradication and broad based, inclusive growth. Integrating green economy
strategies and policies into poverty eradication, food security and energy
security is an imperative for sustainable development.

Objectives of the Ministerial Discussion were:-

  1. To obtain a comprehensive update on the recent green
    economy developments within major international policy forums and through
    the UNEP-led green economy initiative;

  2. To discuss how the concept of the green economy can be
    further implemented at the country level;

  3. To build on existing policies and processes that are
    supporting the shift to sustainable consumption and production and a green
    economy; Conclusively we can say,designed properly, green economy policies
    and programmes with inclusive growth mechanism can directly contribute to
    poverty eradication. Successful examples can offer lessons and possible
    models for replication. For instance,India’s rural employment guarantee
    programme is at one and the same time an anti-poverty programme and an
    ecosystem restoration programme. Understanding the flexibility or lack of
    flexibility of each country to change this energy mix and devising
    innovative methods to secure energy security are the need of the hour
    without compromising on the need for high economic growth to meet the
    aspirations of the people, especially in developing countries.

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