UNEP Report Calls for Transition to Green Economy in Asia-Pacific

15 September 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), IGES (Japan) and Chinese Academy of Sciences, has released a report titled “Resource Efficiency: Economics and Outlook for Asia and the Pacific,” which calls for a new “green” industrial revolution through improvements in resource efficiency.

The report indicates that the region's growth has lead to high levels of pollution, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity loss, deteriorated ecosystems and resource depletion. It estimates that per capita resource consumption of materials needs to be reduced by 80% to achieve sustainable development. According to the report, if current trends are not reversed, the Asia-Pacific region could be the most important driver of global resource use and related environmental impacts, including resource scarcity and climate change.

According to the report, decoupling of resource use from growth is occurring in the more resource-constrained economies including Japan and the Republic of Korea. The report calls for a regional effort to improve efficiency, supported by public policy measures and fiscal policies including ecological taxes and budget reforms. [UN Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: Resource Efficiency: Economics and Outlook for Asia and the Pacific]