A Guidebook to the Green Economy - Issue 2: exploring green economy principles
UN-DESA, 2012The concept of green economy has received significant international attention over the past few years both as a tool to address the 2008 financial crisis as well as one of the two themes for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). This has resulted in a rapidly expanding literature and emerging international practice as well as new partnerships, coalitions and platforms.
Issue 2 of A Guidebook to the Green Economy aims to further ‘unpack’ or ‘demystify’ the green economy concept by moving beyond the simple definitions of green economy and providing a brief overview of several sets of green economy principles that were published in the lead up to Rio+20. The paper also compares these sets of principles against the language adopted on green economy in the Rio+20 outcome document as well as the original Rio Principles on sustainable development that were agreed to by governments at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. In doing so, it explores the emergence of a more balanced understanding of green economy that integrates all dimensions of sustainable development and highlights some common guiding principles that may be of particular relevance for implementation. Finally, it also attempts to identify some priority areas where the green economy might be expected to deliver added value within the broader context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.