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UNEP Releases Green Economy Preview Report

May 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has produced  “Green Economy Report: A preview” on the occasion of the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), taking place from 17-19 May 2010, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. The brochure, based on draft material available to date, provides a first preview of three sectors that will be examined by the report, namely fisheries, transport and water. It also highlights investment and policy reform opportunities to transition to a Green Economy.

The UNEP-led Green Economy Initiative was launched in late 2008 and aims to provide a macroeconomic analysis of policy reforms and investments in green sectors and in greening brown sectors. The Initiative will assess how sectors – such as renewable energies, clean and efficient technologies, water services and sustainable agriculture – can contribute to economic growth, the creation of decent jobs, social equity and poverty reduction, while addressing climate risk and other ecological challenges.

On water, the brochure notes that it is estimated that by 2030, due to population increases, governance arrangements, increasing living standards, over-exploitation, declining water quality and climate change water scarcity will emerge as a challenge to governments. On financing, the brochure underlines the need to broaden the understanding of the interplay between environmental and social capital, with economic and financial ends in mind, in particular the quantification of the economic threats associated with the destruction of environmental and social value for climate change. On insurance, the brochure emphasizes the potential role of this industry in transitioning to a Green Economy, highlighting the engagement of the insurance and reinsurance community in the long-term economic risks posed by climate change. [The Brochure]