点废成绿 GREENING THE BEIGE

点废成绿 Greening the Beige (GtB) is an eco-minded arts collective and not-for-profit community network dedicated to nurturing awareness of environmental issues. 点废成绿 GtB promotes and celebrates earth friendly artists and organizations in Beijing.

GREEN QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Why are we being forced to choose between the economy and the environment? We tend to forget that without an environment we would not have an economy, as everything we consume and I mean everything comes from our environment."

~ Franke James (contemporary artist, photographer, writer)

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(The Art of) Greening the Economy

GreenLadyC's picture
World Environment Day 2012

"Why are we being forced to choose between the economy and the environment? We tend to forget that without an environment we would not have an economy, as everything we consume and I mean everything comes from our environment."

~ Franke James (contemporary artist, photographer, writer)

The twisted relationship between China’s economic growth and environmental crisis has been an epic rollercoaster adventure. It’s been a ride full of thrills, racing at breakneck speed, while at the same time it’s created a harrowing, near-death experience, and widespread social nausea. As the national GDP has climbed higher and higher, so have the dismal statistics reflecting biodiversity loss, desertification, pollution, health hazards, etc., etc., etc. Let’s face it, if China were your friend asking for relationship advice, you would probably deem the current situation “dysfunctional” and suggest moving on, to develop more sustainable fishing practices in the sea.

Ethically speaking, it’s impossible for anyone to say that economic benefits outweigh environmental damages. Yet this has been the supreme sacrifice and fundamental paradox of “supply vs. demand”.

Is it possible to balance economic and environmental sustainability? To be or not to be a green economy? This is the question. In fact, it’s already been answered and become a main focus for China. Particularly in recent years, specific targets and regulations have been included in the latest Congressional 5 Year Plan that fall neatly within the paradigm shifting parameters of the UNEP Millennium Development Goals.

What does it mean if China, a.k.a the world’s factory, along with the rest of the global economy, goes green? According to The Green Economy Report, the result would be a very different future. A complete transition into a green economy would transform almost every aspect of modern society: manufacturing, building and construction, transportation, tourism, urban planning, agriculture. A significant improvement in efficiency and productivity would result:

“For example, fish stocks, forestland and soil quality are estimated to increase by 64 to 106 per cent, 21 per cent and 21 to 27 per cent respectively relative to BAU by 2050, with clear benefits for the productivity of these sectors. In addition, the efficiency improvement of water and energy use in a number of sectors will considerably curb the consumption of these resources (below BAU by 34 to 50 per cent for fossil fuels and 24 to 19 per cent for water in 2050) and avoid negative consequences arising from their depletion.”

The switch to a green economy has already been building:

“By 2008, over 2.3 million people in just six leading countries in green jobs were employed in this low-carbon sector (China, Denmark, Germany, India Spain, and the United States).”

And really, in the grand scheme of the universe, this change has happened in the blink of an eye.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the UNEP, this year’s World Environment Day conference in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, is expected to be the largest and most widely celebrated. However, this isn’t the first time for Brazil to host such a landmark event. In fact, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change came out of the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992.

Bringing together BRIC nations and post-industrial countries, the hope and aim of this gathering is to create a better operation manual for “a green economy that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” In other words, a country with a healthy economy would also have a healthy environment, and we'll no longer be forced to choose one over the other. Essentially, we can all look forward to the birth of a new global green economy this June 2012.

Other Related GtB Posts:

World Environment Day - Countdown to Rio + 20

China's "Green" Horizon

Welcome to WED 2010 – the biggest celebration of positive action for the environment!

*Special thanks to Treehugger and UNEP for hosting this competition and getting so many bloggers from around the world to focus on this topic.*

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