Friday, January 21, 2011

My level of understanding of what 'Green economy' means

Preparatory work for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)as knows as Rio20, to be held in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil in May 2012 is well underway. This major UN Conference follows the 2002 Johannesburg Summit and the 1992 Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro)

Rio20 seeks to secure renewed commitment for sustainable development, assess progress and implementation gaps in (previous Rio and Johannesburg) Summit outcomes on sustainable development, and to address new and emerging challenges.

This sounds like what the Johannesburg Summit also sought to achieve in 2002. What then is new about Rio20? My view is that the framework seems to be guided by the 2 themes namely:

- A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty
- Institutional framework for sustainable development

It is regard to this framework that I would like to contribute to the seemingly unclear common understanding of what 'green economy' means to different people in different parts of the world, and what its ultimately its implications are. In addition, there lacks a contextual understanding leave alone any substantive discussion on what 'green economy' would mean and entail in Uganda's case.

According to the Institute for Development Studies (2009), green economy is a type of low carbon development - actions which include making a contribution towards stabilizing levels of CO2 and other green gases at a level that will avoid dangerous climate change, through deep cuts in global emissions, demonstrate a high level of energy efficiency and use low-carbon energy sources As a type of low carbon development, 'green economy' focuses on the production side of an economy and on how goods and services can be produced with lower emissions. it aims at decoupling economic growth from carbon emissions (for example halving emissions, but doubling GDP). Hence the focus and approach of a 'green economy' is on mitigation, though adaptation also plays a role through technological and sectoral change.

In this blog I set to share with others what 'green economy' means from a Ugandan (civil Society) perspective ahead of Rio20 in 2012. This level of appreciation probably reflects the feeling for many people in Africa and the South in general.

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