Source: https://www.vedantu.com/commerce/green-economy

The green economy is a concept that has gained increasing attention in recent years, especially in the context of the global challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, and social inequality.

A green economy is one that aims to reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcities while enhancing human well-being and social equity. It serves as an alternative to the conventional or brown economy, which relies on fossil fuels, wasteful consumption, and environmental degradation.

A green economy is essential for several reasons.

  • First, it can effectively address the significant challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, resource depletion, biodiversity loss, and social inequality.
  • Second, investing in green sectors and technologies can create new opportunities for economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction.
  • Third, it can improve human well-being and social equity by ensuring a fair distribution of the benefits and costs of environmental protection and natural resource management.
  • Fourth, it can enhance the resilience of ecosystems and societies by restoring and conserving natural capital and ecosystem services.

Some common elements that facilitate the transition to a green economy are:

  • Public and private investment in green sectors and activities, such as renewable energy, organic agriculture, sustainable transport, waste management, eco-tourism, and green buildings.
  • Policy reforms and changes in taxation and regulation that create incentives or disincentives for green behavior and practices, such as carbon pricing, subsidies, standards, bans, and labels.
  • Multi-stakeholder partnerships and cooperation among governments, businesses, civil society, and international organizations that promote knowledge sharing, innovation, capacity building, and advocacy for a green economy.
  • Public awareness and education that raise the understanding and appreciation of the value of the environment and the benefits of a green economy among consumers, producers, and decision-makers.

Some examples of the green economy practices:

  • Brazil has implemented a sustainable urban planning program called Curitiba Ecological Capital since 1971 that integrates environmental protection, social inclusion, and economic development. The program has improved the quality of life of the city’s residents by providing efficient public transport, recycling waste, creating parks and green spaces, supporting urban agriculture, and fostering social participation and cultural diversity.
  • Uganda has promoted organic agriculture since 2004 through various policies and programs that support organic certification, marketing, research, training, and extension. Uganda has become one of Africa’s leading exporters of organic products, with over 200 certified organic operators producing coffee, cotton, tea, fruits, vegetables, honey, herbs, spices, and oilseeds. Organic agriculture has improved soil fertility, food security, biodiversity conservation, and farmers’ livelihoods.
  • Kenya has implemented a feed-in tariff policy since 2008 that encourages private investment in renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, biogas, geothermal, and small hydropower. The policy has resulted in increased access to electricity for rural communities, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and created jobs and income for local people.
  • China has become the world’s largest producer and consumer of renewable energy, with a total installed capacity of 759 GW in 2020. Renewable energy accounted for 28.8% of China’s electricity generation in 2020. China has also invested heavily in electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and green infrastructure.

Some initiatives of the green economy in the ASEAN region:

  • The Southeast Asia’s Green Economy 2021 Report comprehensively analyzes the opportunities and challenges for the ASEAN region to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The report estimates that leading the charge for a green economy can generate $1 trillion in economic opportunities by 2030 for ASEAN.
  • The ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), which promotes regional cooperation on energy issues and supports the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025, which aims to enhance energy security, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability in the region. ACE also conducts research and advocacy on various topics related to the green economy, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean coal technology, and carbon capture and storage.
  • The Southeast Asia’s Green Economy 2022 Report focuses on the ASEAN region’s progress and gaps in achieving its climate goals and implementing its green recovery plans. It also provides recommendations and best practices for accelerating the green transition across different stakeholders, such as governments, businesses, investors, and communities, highlighting the importance of ecosystem-wide collaboration, innovation, and financing to unlock the full potential of the green economy in ASEAN.

By: Hendra WINASTU, SOLEN Principal Associate – IPC panel coordinator

Edited by: Moe Thazin Shwe, SOLEN Research Associate – IPC panel member

Date: 27 September 2023

Article#: SOLEN-IPC-0026


  1. Hardcastle, et al. (2021), Southeast Asia’s Green Economy 2021 Report: Opportunities on the road to Net Zero. Retrieved online from https://www.bain.com/insights/southeast-asias-green-economy-2021/
  2. Hardcastle, et al. (2022), Southeast Asia’s Green Economy 2022 Report: Opportunities on the road to Net Zero. Retrieved online from https://www.bain.com/insights/southeast-asias-green-economy-2022/
  3. Merdekawati, M (2020), ASEAN’s Road to a Green Economic Recovery, retrieved online from https://aseanenergy.org/aseans-road-to-a-green-economic-recovery/
  4. https://www.unep.org/explore-topics/green-economy/about-green-economy
  5. https://www.unep.org/regions/asia-and-pacific/regional-initiatives/supporting-resource-efficiency/green-economy

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