ICC comments on the UNEP draft Green Economy Report (2011)
ICC would like to underscore the private sector’s key role and support to transition towards what policy makers call a ‘green economy’.
The “Green economy” concept has emerged prominently in numerous intergovernmental forums such as the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Green Economy Initiative, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Green Growth Strategy and in discussions among G20 leaders.
In addition, “green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication” has been declared a priority theme for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 (Rio+20). Clearly governments around the globe are seeking ways to define and shape this concept into meaningful policy frameworks that advance economic growth while enhancing environmental protection.
Part of the challenge and opportunity for business is to understand the concrete possibilities of a ‘green economy’ with its opportunities and risks for both developed and developing countries. While no single agreed definition or set of financial measurements as to what exactly constitutes a ‘green economy’ exists, the ICC Green Economy Task Force defines ‘green economy’ from a business perspective as follows:
“The business community believes that the term ‘green economy’ is embedded in the broader sustainable development concept. The ‘green economy’ is described as an economy in which economic growth and environmental responsibility work together in a mutually reinforcing fashion while supporting progress on social development. Business has a crucial role in delivering the economically viable products, processes, technologies, services, and solutions required for the transition to a green economy.”
A comprehensive and balanced green economy framework should thus be clear, stable, and predictable so that investors and financiers trust that policy goals and incentives will be in place for the duration of projects fostering innovation-led green growth.