UNEP Chief: Green Economy Investments Lagging, Despite Progress at G20

28 Jun

Achim Steiner, the head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP), says the world needs a fresh infusion of investment in the new “green economy.” So far, nations around the world have pledged $500 billion for “green spending” on a wide variety of projects, from solar plants to transportation sector initiatives.  However large that number appears, Steiner warns that it is still not sufficient.

Of the $500 billion pledged, 40% of funds comes from China, which means many developed countries are falling short in their commitment to a green economy, Steiner says.  In 2008, the UNEP called for a global investment of $750 billion, equivalent to 1% of global GDP to be funneled into a “Global Green New Deal.”

“The green economy is not a luxury, but a 21st century imperative on a planet of six billion, rising to 9 billion in just 40 years,” said Steiner and Pavan Sukhdev, leader of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative in a statement released in advance of this weekend’s G20 Summit in Toronto.

G20 delegates re-affirmed their pledge to phase out the “inefficient” subsidies to the fossil fuel industry,  which by some estimates amount to $300-$500 billion/year.  The International Energy Agency estimates that elimination of these subsidies could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 7% over the next ten years.

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Posted by on June 28, 2010 in Investments, Oil, Traditional Energy


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