ESCAP Launches Asia-Pacific Low Carbon, Green Growth Roadmap

28 May 2012: Ahead of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has released the “Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap for Asia and the Pacific: Turning resource constraints and the climate crisis into economic growth opportunities.”

The Roadmap outlines policy options and practical strategies that aim to transform the crisis of shrinking natural resources and climate change into a driver of sustainable and inclusive economic growth. It proposes a five-track path for change, including: improving quality of growth and maximizing net growth; changing the invisible structure of the economy; changing the visible structure of the economy; turning green into a business opportunity; and formulating and implementing low-carbon development strategies.

The Roadmap includes 63 policy options and 51 examples, and calls for economic reforms in market prices, regulations and governance, as well as infrastructure such as transport, buildings, urban design, energy, and wastewater systems. According to the Roadmap, it is possible to sustain higher economic growth by shifting the tax base from traditional taxes to levies on resource consumption and pollution. The Roadmap suggests a tax of US$10 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions in developing Asia-Pacific countries, if accompanied with reductions in other taxes, for example corporate tax, would help reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 8% by 2020, while boosting economic growth by up to 2.8%. [UN ESCAP Press Release] [UN Press Release] [The Roadmap]