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IEEP presentation of Knossos Green Economy briefings 18 june 2012 UNEP Pavilion in Rio
How can Research best Inform
the Transition to a Green Economy? Patrick ten Brink Senior Fellow, Head of Brussels Office, IEEP Presentation at event on ‘EU Research towards Rio+20: Lessons from projects on the Green Economy’ 12:00 to 13:00 18 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro
KNOSSOS policy briefings on green
economyMain briefing:What do we mean by green economy?Supporting briefings: • Green economy in the EU; • Green economy in the context of Rio+20; • Green economy and sustainable developmentBy: Doreen Fedrigo-Fazio, Patrick ten Brink,Leonardo Mazza, Sirini Withana, Emma Watkins,Axel Volkery, Sonia Rouabhi (IEEP)
Green economy in context• Green
economy is not a new concept. It builds on discussions over last 40 years• 1970s-1980s: meeting needs within environmental limits, ecological modernisation (links between environment and economy)• 1990s: sustainable development, three pillar approach• 2000s: sustainability, growth, competitiveness, jobs• However problems remain and recent crises (economic, financial, environmental, social) have reinvigorated the discussion since 2008
What is a green economy?
“one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.” (UNEP Green Economy Report) “fostering economic growth and development, while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies”. (OECD Green Growth Strategy)
The Transition to a Green
Economy Current Situation Building Blocks in the Ambitions for the Future Transition to a Green Economy A Green Economy Declining Sustainability in a Brown Economy Improved human well-being and Business-as-Usual social equity, while significantly Approaches Resource over-exploitation & reducing environmental risks and pollution pressures Avoiding Unsustainable Trade- ecological scarcities offs Climate Change + Staying within a ‘safe operating Environmental compliance & space’: using resources within the Biodiversity and natural infrastructure planet’s regenerative capacities & capital loss avoiding critical ecological + Governance thresholds Good Critical ecological and Active environmental resource thresholds passed management No net loss of biodiversity and or at risk climate change within ‘acceptable’ Active Risk Management limits Resource scarcity and limited + access to a clean Proactive Investment in Natural Sustainability for future environment Capital generations and business: available natural capital and a + clean environment Health impacts and man- made natural disasters Pursuing environmental sustainability Health and livelihoods for citizens An economy that is not Eco-efficiency and communities resource efficient, low carbon + An economy decoupled from and socially inclusive Decoupling via Radical environmental impacts andSource: Patrick ten Brink & Leonardo Innovation & Demand change resource useMazza, own representation
ACQWA project• Quantify influence of
climate change on water resources in mountain regions and analyse impacts on society and economy• Case study: • Climate change and evolution of land use in Spanish Pyrenees has affected availability and management of water resources in Ebro basin. • Need improved management especially given anticipated water scarcity and subsequent conflicts among water users
COMETR• Review experience with carbon-energy
taxes in SE, DK, NL, FI, SL, DE, UK.• Scenario results show reductions in GHGs in 6 MS (FI, SE, DE, NL, UK, DK), largest reductions where tax rates highest (FI, SE)• Environmental tax reform (ETR) has positive on economic activity depending on how revenues are recycled. However, likely to be transition costs so gains may not be immediate.• 5 MS show increase in GDP as a result of ETR (FI, SE, DE, NL, DK)
INSTREAM• Propose indicators – including
natural capital and SEEA accounts - to assess progress on economy, well-being, environment, long- term sustainability• Use indicators to support integration in various policy areas• Use range of indicators across policy areas and at different stages in policy cycle Invest in natural capital and environmental-economic accounts to have the evidence for the future
What next?• Invest in research
and build the evidence base• Build on lessons from research – for each of the buildings blocks for the transition to a green economy.• Evidence underlines importance of (inter alia): – Risk mapping and proactive risk management – Environmental Fiscal Reform (environmentally harmful subsidies, environmental tax reform, positive incentives etc.) – Environmental accounts: water, resources, natural capital and SEEA – and associated indicators/information base.• Need a community of learning for a green economy• Need active science-policy interface
Panel QuestionsQ1: What research insights
do you know of that give a valuable newevidence base to inform the transition to a green economy?Q2: What are they key gaps in the evidence base and which of theseshould be prioritised for research effort?Q3: Who can most usefully do the research – and what is the need forglobal cooperation?
Thank you for your attention
Patrick ten Brink Senior Fellow and Head of Environmental Economics Programme, IEEP firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks also to IEEP’s Sirini Withana and Doreen Fedrigo-FazioIEEP is an independent not for profit institute dedicated to advancing an environmentally sustainable Europe through policy analysis, development and dissemination. For further information see: http://www.ieep.eu Follow us on twitter: IEEP_EU Or PtenBrinkIEEP The new Manual of European Environmental Policy: http://www.europeanenvironmentalpolicy.eu/